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Proceeding of the Pan-European Sustainable Energy NGO Seminar - INFORSE-Europe September, 2001, Denmark

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Will the EU Goal of 12% Renewable Energy be Reached?
Notes by Gunnar Boye Olesen, INFORSE-Europe, September 2001.

EU COMMISSION White Paper on Renewable Energies
COM(97)599, 26.11.97

The White paper's general goal is a doubling renewable energy sources (RES) share in  EU energy balance from 6% in 1995 to 12% in 2010 (share of final energy following EUROSTAT convention ). This is the 12% goal.
The goal should be reached via an  Action Plan. It includes:

  •   to provide market opportunities without excessive financing burdens
  •   proposes priority measures and actions  to overcome obstacles and redress balance
The WHITE PAPER's  - ACTION PLAN, Main Elements:
  • Internal market measures
  • Reinforce Community policies
  • Support measures
  • Campaign for take off
  • Improve co-ordination with Member States

White Paper Goals - Status 2000.
An over view of current trends in the development of renewable energy sources, compared with the trends necessary to reach the proposed goals in the White Paper to rewach and overall doubling of renewable energy in the energy mix from 1997 to 2010.

Wind: Goal of 40.000 MW (7.7 mtoe). This will be reached if development continues, NGO goal of 60.000 MW possible.

PV: Goal of 650 MW. This will be reached if development continues, higher goal possible

Biomass: Goal of 135 mtoe. The level was 45 mtoe in 1995 and the increase has been 1-2 mtoe /year in the late 1990's. If this trends continues, biomass wil only supply 60-75 mtoe in 2010. To reach the goal is needed an increased development, compared with development 1995-99. The oil price increase '98-99 has given a new push for biomass that cannot be seen in statistics yet.

Solar thermal: Goal of 100 mill m2(3,5 mtoe). The level was 10 mill.m2 (1998). The increase is about 1 mill. m2/year, which gives only 22 mill. m2 in 2010. Increase in development needed, compared with development 1995-99.

Passive solar: Proposal of 35 mtoe. Development unquantified

Heat pumps: Goal of 1 mtoe from present level 0.4 mtoe. Goal is possible to reach.

The two key elements of a strategy to reach the White Paper (in addition to ongoing activities) should be:

  • to keep windpower growth on track, and
  • to help biomass growth to develop, to make it possible to reach the biomass goal

Biomass Development Goals and Nneed

The biomass goal can be divided in three main sectors:

  • Biomass cogeneration of heat and electricity. To grow from 3.6 to about 36 mtoe. The development has been slowed by liberalisation of electricity market, but it is pushed by the new renewable electricity directive, and by R&D programs. There is a need for: Enforcement of directive, internalisation of external costs in electricity market, market support
  • Biomass for heating. To grow from 38 to 75 mtoe. There was a slow growth in the 90's of about 1 mtoe/year, but the development is currently increasing because of higher oil prices. Lack of EU support measures is a problem. There is a need for support on national and EU level.
  • Biofuels for transportation: goal of 18 mtoe. EU directive upcoming with targets for biofuel use. Rapid development needed to reach goal, but environmental  concern in the production is important (environmentally benign farming practices) to win support from environmental NGOs for the proposal.
EU 5th RTD Programs: Clear Energy Policy Targets.
The EU has no general energy policy, but the energy policy targets of the 5th framework program for research and technical development (RTD) gives a good indication of the generally accepted energy policy targets:
  • Meeting Kyoto Objectives:  8% CO2 reduction between 2008 and 2012 compared to 1990 level
  • Doubling the Share of Renewable Energy Sources, from 6% to 12% of final energy (following EUROSTAT convention )
  • Improving Energy Efficiency, Increase efficiency by 18% until 2010 compared to 1995
  • Maintaining Security of Supply