Offshore wind energy capacity in Europe is projected to increase 17-fold between 2010 and 2020, while newer renewable technologies such as concentrated solar power and wave/tidal power will also increase more than 11-fold according to projections. European countries are also expected to significantly boost solar photovoltaic power, onshore wind and other renewable technologies over the next decade.
The projections are based on European countries’ plans to install
renewable energy sources, which have been analysed by the European Environment
Agency (EEA). The latest update shows the diversity of approaches to meeting
the EU’s collective target of 20 % of energy from renewable sources by 2020.
According to the latest figures, 11.7 % of energy used in the EU came from
renewable sources in 2009.
“This analysis is particularly timely, coming as government
representatives gather to discuss climate change in Durban. It illustrates the
scale of Europe’s commitment to transform its energy sector,” Jacqueline
McGlade, EEA Executive Director, said. “However, with a concerted effort
we can and should go even further to phase in renewable energy sources. Burning
fossil fuels threaten the stability of our climate, and our most recent
analysis has shown that pollution from coal and gas power plants is costing
Europe many billions of euros a year in health costs.”
European Union Member States have individual targets, and must submit
National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) to the European Commission
outlining how they expect to meet their 2020 renewable target, including the
technology mix they intend to use and the trajectory they will
Key growth projections between 2010 and 2020 include:
Despite these growth rates, the 2020 targets will be met by just a
narrow margin according to the projections, highlighting the challenge facing
Europe as it aims to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels.
Approximately 43 % of all renewable energy production is planned for
heating and cooling, with biomass accounting for 80 % renewable heating and
cooling output. Transport will make up the smallest proportion of renewable
energy consumption (12 %), but is expected to be the fastest growing element
between 2005 and 2020.
The update to the database comes a year after EU Member States
submitted information describing how they would meet their targets in 2020. The
accompanying report has also been updated, with the latest information for 20
Member States, additional data on biomass and data on land use for energy
The report was written for the EEA by the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN).
Dec 01, 2011.