5 yrs
News, Press2008

Europe’s energy future changed today

09.12.2008

For the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), the Renewable Energy Directive, agreed today, confirms Europe as the leader of the energy revolution the world needs. The target means that more than one third of EU electricity must come from renewables in 2020 and wind energy will be the biggest contributor. Moreover, the directive addresses existing barriers that prevent Europe from fully exploiting its largest domestic energy resource.

“Today tomorrow changed. The European Parliament and the Council have agreed the world’s most important energy law” stated Christian Kjaer, EWEA Chief Executive. “Europe has turned away from transferring ever larger amounts of European citizens’ wealth to a handful of fuel-exporting nations, opting instead to put the money to work at home and exploit our abundant domestic renewable energy resources.”

For the first time, each Member State has a legally binding renewables target for 2020 along with a clear trajectory to follow. By June 2010 the Member States will draw up National Action Plans detailing the ways in which they are to meet their 2020 targets, which will then be submitted to the Commission for assessment. They will report on how they are doing every two years. These measures will lead to real progress in the 27 countries.

“The grid and administrative barriers whose shadows loom long over wind energy project developers will finally be tackled throughout Europe thanks to the directive. Furthermore, Member States will be able to work together to meet their targets under stable market conditions, which will give investments in the wind energy sector a boost. One can only hope that the EU governments show the same degree of cohesion, commitment and clarity during the global climate negotiations in Poznan over the coming days,” said Kjaer.

The directive means that more than one-third of the EU’s electricity will come from renewable energy in 2020 – up from 15% in 2005. By 2020, wind energy is expected to have overtaken hydropower as the EU’s largest source of renewable electricity.

Today, responded to the global energy and climate crisis by adopting a strategy to further develop, deploy and export renewable energy technology to a carbon- and fuel-constrained world. The decision will also help the EU face the current economic turmoil, as wind energy provides jobs, reduce electricity costs, energy independence, imports and fuel price risks. It is a truly historic day.

Agreement between the European Parliament and the 27 EU Member States was reached this morning following a meeting of Energy Ministers yesterday.

For a more detailed reaction and commentary on different sections of the Renewable Energy Directive, see EWEA's special briefing page.

You will find the text of the Renewable Energy Directive here. Please note that this is an unofficial text, subject to technical corrections and final approval by the European Parliament and Council.

Note to editors: the table below gives an indication of the probably share of renewable electricity coming from different renewable energy sources in 2020.

Renewables' contribution to EU electricity consumption up to 2020

Type of energy

2005 Eurostat TWh

2006 Eurostat TWh

2010 Projections TWh

2020 Targets TWh

Wind

70.5

82

176

477 (34.8%)

Hydro

346.9

357.2

360

384 (28%)

Photovoltaic

1.5

2.5

20

180 (13.1%)

Biomass

80

89.9

135

250 (18.3%)

Geothermal

5.4

5.6

10

31 (2.3%)

Solar thermal elect

-

-

2

43 (3.1%)

Ocean

-

-

1

5 (0.4%)

Total RES

504.3

537.2

704

1370

Total Gross Electricity Generation EU-27

3320.4

3361.5

 

 

(Trends to 2030-baseline)

3568

4078

(Combined RES and EE)

3391

Share of RES

15.20%

16.00%

19.70%

33.6-40.4%

European Renewable Energy Council: European Renewable Technology Roadmap 2008

 

 

 Older