Share of renewables in gross final energy consumption of the EU

“Renewable energy can be produced from a wide variety of sources including wind, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal, and biomass. By using more renewables to meet its energy needs, the EU lowers its dependence on imported fossil fuels and makes its energy production more sustainable. The renewable energy industry also drives technological innovation and employment across Europe.

2020 renewable energy targets

The EU’s Renewable energy directive sets a binding target of 20% final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. To achieve this, EU countries have committed to reaching their own national renewables targets ranging from 10% in Malta to 49% in Sweden. They are also each required to have at least 10% of their transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020.

All EU countries have adopted national renewable energy action plans showing what actions they intend to take to meet their renewables targets. These plans include sectorial targets for electricity, heating and cooling, and transport; planned policy measures; the different mix of renewables technologies they expect to employ; and the planned use of cooperation mechanisms.

A new target for 2030

Renewables will continue to play a key role in helping the EU meet its energy needs beyond 2020. EU countries have already agreed on a new renewable energy target of at least 27% of final energy consumption in the EU as a whole by 2030 as part of the EU’s energy and climate goals for 2030.

On 30 November 2016, the Commission published a proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directiveto make the EU a global leader in renewable energy and ensure that the 2030 target is met.

Support schemes for renewables

Public interventions such as support schemes remain necessary to make certain renewable energy technologies competitive. To avoid distorting energy prices and the market however, these schemes should be time-limited and carefully designed. The EU has issued guidance on support schemes to help governments when they design or revise support schemes.

Progress reports

Every two years, the EU publishes a renewable energy progress report. The 2017 report states that the EU as a whole achieved a 16% share of renewable energy in 2014 and an estimated 16.4% share in 2015. The vast majority of EU countries are well on track to reach their 2020 binding targets for renewable energy”. – European Commission


Image 1 shows the world energy consumption by source.

Data source:, last operated 31-08-2017

Table 1 shows the big five renewable energy sources with their benefits and an example of them.

Energy source Short statement Example
Wind power 600 kW to 5 MW/ Offshore 7.5 MW à Overall performance in Europe 12.631 MW.

Offshore parks save continental space.

Nystedt, Denmark
Hydropower Generates around 70% of the worlds all renewable electricity. Even a slow flowing stream of water can yield considerable amounts of energy because water is about 800 denser than air. Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. China
Solar energy The most affordable energy source for human. A photovoltaic system converts light into electrical direct current (DC) by taking advantage of the photoelectronic effect. Topaz Solar Farm, California
Geothermal energy High Temperature Geothermal energy is from thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. The heat that is used for geothermal energy can be from deep within the Earth, all the way down to Earth’s core – 4,000 miles (6,400 km) down. Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station, Iceland
Bio energy Biomass is biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms. It most often refers to plants or plant-derived materials which are specifically called lignocellulosic biomass. As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly via combustion to produce heat, or indirectly after converting it to various forms of biofuel. CHP power station, France


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