February 18 (Renewables Now) – The renewables share in gross final energy consumption in the European Union (EU) has reached 17.5% in 2017, up from 17% registered the year earlier, the latest Eurostat figures show.
The EU’s renewables share was 8.5% in 2004, the first year when the data became available. The bloc has set a 20% target by 2020 and at least 32% by 2030, with every country having its own goal based on different starting points, renewable energy potential and economic performance.
As was the case in 2016, Sweden, Finland and Latvia continued to lead the ranking. Sweden generated 54.5% of its gross final energy consumption from renewable energy sources in 2017, surpassing its national target of 49% for 2020 and moving up from 53.8% in 2016.
Finland, with 41% of energy coming from renewables, also exceeded its 2020 target of 38%. Latvia took the third spot with a 39% share approaching its 40% goal.
On the bottom of the list are Malta, the Netherlands and Luxembourg with the renewables share of 7.2%, 6.6% and 6.4%, respectively.
In 2017, there were no new additions to the list of 11 member states that already achieved their 2020 national targets by 2016. They are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Finland and Sweden.
The Netherlands, France and Ireland are still behind on their 2020 national goals, although they narrowed the distance compared to the 2016 figures. In 2017, the Netherlands was 7.4 percentage points away from reaching its 2020 target of 14%. France will need to up its renewables share by 6.7 percentage points to make it to 23%, while Ireland is 5.3 percentage points away from its 16% target.
Eurostat also compiled data on non-EU members Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia (formerly known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Serbia, Turkey and Kosovo. Of them, Montenegro and Albania had the highest renewables share of 40% and 34.6%, respectively. Data on Iceland and Norway, which featured in the 2016 list, were not included in the latest report.