U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Vehicle Technologies Office
Europe Falling Short of Renewable Energy Goals for 2010
February 13, 2008
Renewable energy seems to growing at break-neck pace throughout the
world, and particularly in Europe, but a new report shows the European
Union (EU) falling far short of its goal to use renewable energy for
12% of its energy needs by the end of 2010. As of the end of 2006, the
EU is at 6.92% renewable energy, having posted an impressive 0.46%
gain relative to 2005, but similar gains in the coming years would
only get the EU to about 9% renewable energy. The report estimates
that at best, the EU could reach 10% renewable energy by 2010.
Meanwhile, the EU has set an additional goal of achieving 20%
renewable energy by 2020.
One reason for the shortfall is that the growth in renewable energy is
struggling to compete with a growth in energy demand: while EU
renewable energy use grew by the energy equivalent of 8.5 million
metric tons of oil (Mtoe), EU energy consumption grew by 5.5 Mtoe.
That represents a very respectable 7.5% growth in renewable energy in
one year, countered by a 0.3% growth in total energy use. That led
Jean-Louis Bal, EU's director of Renewable Energies and Energy
Networks and Markets, to declare that "the efforts being made for
(renewable energy) development ... are not accompanied by any real
effort to conserve energy."
The renewable energy growth is also very uneven across the EU, with
Germany providing 43% of the growth in 2006. The EU is also struggling
with below-normal hydropower production because of drought. All of
which suggests that the United States has plenty in common with its
European cousins. See pages 71-76 (PDF pages 73-78) of the report, which is published in both English and French (PDF 866 KB).
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