A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) insists that the European Union (EU) is on track to meet its target of sourcing 20 per cent of all energy from renewable sources by 2020.
The report, entitled Renewable Energy in Europe 2017: recent growth and knock-on effects, suggests that the share of renewables in Europe’s energy mix is fast-approaching 17 per cent.
It adds that, across the bloc, there has been an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of approximately ten per cent since 2005.
The comments come despite consistent criticism that the UK is not doing enough to hit the ambitious 2020 targets.
In February, a separate report published by the European Commission (EC) ranked the UK 24th out of 28 EU nations in terms of its renewable energy consumption. The EC’s report said that just 8.2 per cent of UK energy came from renewable sources in 2015.
Despite this, however, the EEA’s report now suggests that the UK is performing adequately to hit upcoming targets.
One section of its report reads: “the greatest increase in solar PV (photovoltaic) electricity production at the Member State level was in the United Kingdon, which corresponded to an additional installed capacity of 3.5 GW”.
Commenting on the new report overall, which comes ahead of a European Parliament vote this week on the bloc’s Budget through to 2020, the EEA said: “The speed at which renewable energy has grown since 2005 took many market actors by surprise, especially within the power sector”.
It added: “While fossil fuel capacity needs to be decommissioned at a faster rate to ensure that the EU avoids stranded assets or a lock-in of carbon-intensive power plants by 2030, the rate of replacement of carbon-intensive energy sources by RES to date has already resulted in GHG emissions reductions in the EU electricity sector, in the consumption of energy for heating and cooling, and in transport”.