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Renewable Energy Targets 2020: 20%

Updated June, 2008

Index of this Page:

· Opinion of INFORSE-Europe. Read
· Procedure. Read
· Communication Proposal Read

This is an overview of the renewables target development after 2012. See more information on the 2020 target on the Energy Package page, and on the previous 2010 target page.

A process started in 2004 to define renewable energy targets for renewable energy in the EU after the first commitment of the Kyoto Protocol. In March 2007 this has resulted in the decision by the Prime Ministers of a target of 20% renewable energy for the EU-27 by 2020. As part of this target is agreed a target of 10% biofuels in transportation by 2020; but no other targets for other sector, such as the electricity or heating+cooling sectors. Prime Ministers also "forgot" to specify if the 20% target was a target of primary energy or final energy: it is easier to reach a target of final energy with EU's energy mix; but the final energy target is anyhow promoted by the windpower and PV-power producers, because with current statistical methodology they contribute more to the final energy target than to the primary energy target.
In January 2008, the EU Commission proposed a Directive on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources (COM(2008)19final). This Directive aims to establish a target of a 20% renewable share in the total energy consumption and a 10% target for biofuels in transport by 2020. Environment and Energy Ministers are currently discussing these targets. The two major dissension points are biofuels and the reference year as some countries contest the decision of the Commission to use 2005 as the reference year. An agreement is expected before the European elections in June 2009.

Opinion of INFORSE-Europe
The EU-countries should set a target of 25% renewable energy by 2020 for the 27 EU countries. This is an ambitious, yet achievable target that is in line with long-term requirement for reduction of greenhouse gases to halt man-made climate change. The target should be achieved with a combination of increased use of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency. The process proposed by the Commission should be used to develop plans for implementation of the targets, including initiatives on EC-level.
The targets should be developed and adopted as soon as possible.

January 23, 2008, the EU Commission proposed a Directive on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources (COM(2008)19final).The draft Directive proposes a 20% renewable energy target by 2020 and a 10% biofuels target in transport by 2020.

March 8, 2007, Prime Ministers agreed upon a 20% renewable energy target as an average for the 27 EU countries.

January 10, 2007 the EU Commission launched an energy package including proposals for specific targets like 20% renewables by 2020 and 10% biofuels in transport by 2020.

March 2006 the EU Prime Ministers agreed that a new EU policy should be developed.

November 29, 2004 the EU energy ministers discussed the communication from the Commission. They agreed that the target-setting for 2020 should start only by the end of 2005 and that it should conclude in 2007, only 3 years before the existing target year (2010).

In May 2004, the Commission made a communication calling for a two-year process to establish a 2020 target in 2007 (COM2004/366).

In April 2004, the Parliament proposed a 20% renewables target for 2020.

In January 2004, an EU expert meeting recommended a 20% target for 2020, while stating that also a 25% target is possible.

Communication Proposal
The communication from the Commission (COM2004/0366) include a process to develop a target for EU-25 as well as an assessment of the target for 12% for 2010.