The European Union will surpass its target to consume 20% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2020, according to national forecasts submitted by its member states.
In a summary of national forecasts, the Commission says the EU will reach an overall share of 20.3% from renewable sources. 10 of the 27 member states are likely to exceed their targets for renewable energy, with another 12 countries to meet their goals domestically.
Only five member states are expected to miss their target with domestic sources only.
"These forecasts show that member states take renewable energy very seriously and are really dedicated to push their domestic production," says Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. "It is an important milestone in the achievement of the goals set in the Europe 2020 Strategy."
"This is a very positive sign for the environment, as it will help us to cut CO2 emissions and at the same time enhance our energy security," he adds. "It is also a very positive message for our economy and our companies."
Only 1% will need to be traded
The Renewable Energy Directive approved last year requires member states which predict they will fail to reach their renewable energy targets with domestic resources alone, must either acquire transfers from other countries within or outside of the EU. Only 2 Mtoe (million tons of oil equivalent) of the total renewable energy needed in 2020 will be traded in this manner, which represents less than 1% of targets.
The Directive sets individual national targets according to capacity to increase their share of renewable energy sources. It asked each country to deliver a report on their expectations for domestic renewable energy sources, and if they expect to have a surplus to offer to other member states or if they will need to import renewable energy.
The Directive sets an overall EU target of 20% renewable energy of total energy consumption by 2020 and individual binding national targets. Renewable energies include wind, solar, biofuels, biomass and hydro power. The renewable share in 2007 was 9%, of which two-thirds is derived from biomass and biowaste.