EU set to fail on renewable energy targets | WWF

EU set to fail on renewable energy targets

Posted on 30 October 2002
Brussels, Belgium - EU countries will fail to reach their target to double the share of renewable energy by 2010, WWF and EREF, the European green energy industry group, announced today one year after the entry into force of the EU renewables directive. By 2010 the EU is supposed to increase the share of renewably produced power to 22 per cent of its total energy consumption. But research by WWF and EREF reveals that with current policies, the 15 European countries are likely to miss this target, achieving together only between 15 and 17 percent of the EU’s electricity consumption. The worst offenders look like being Italy and UK. It is estimated that by 2010 only 17 per cent of electricity in Italy will come from renewable sources, compared with its target of 25 per cent. The UK has a 10 per cent target, but will only achieve 4 per cent. France, supposed to develop renewable electricity up to 21 per cent by 2010, is estimated to fall behind its target by 29 TWh (Tera Watt hours), equal to the electricty consumption of 3.2 million people. However, the recently approved measures for renewables could reverse this trend, as demonstrated by the large amounts of wind power in an advanced stage of planning. Even Germany and Spain, which have committed to favourable renewable energy policies, could also fail to reach their targets. Germany will achieve 12 per cent instead of 13 per cent, while in Spain additional measures would be required to both boost biomass and control the fast-growing electricity demand (50 per cent rise in the last decade and 30 per cent more expected by 2011). The only countries expected to achieve their targets are Denmark and Ireland. Measures that guarantee premium prices for power generators, which go some way towards compensating for subsidies offered to fossil and nuclear power, prove to be the most successful policies to boost renewables. However, the report suggests that without urgent measures to cut rising electricity demand, the share of renewable energy will not increase enough. “The EU could source a quarter of its power for renewable energies by 2010, thus reducing its oil dependency,” said Giulio Volpi, of WWF's Climate Change Programme. “But to win this green energy race, EU governments must back up renewable policies with adequate funding and urgently need to control their energy demand.” “European Governments could still meet their targets if they acted decisively to guaranteeing renewables’ competitiveness through appropriate premium price schemes,” said Joan Fages, President of the European Renewable Energy Federation (EREF). “Biomass sources, such as energy crops — which have great potential to boost renewable energy — need new and aggressive support.” For further information: Angelina Hermanns Press Officer, WWF European Policy Office Tel.:+32 2 740 0925, mobile: +32 497 258 042, E-mail: Giulio Volpi Climate and Renewable Energy Policy Officer, WWF Mobile: +32 497 50 6805 David Fouquet Press Officer, EREF Mobile: + 32 475 63 4678