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EU's renewable energy share reaches 18 percent in 2018 – Eurostat

Twelve European Union (EU) Member States have reached a share equal to or above their 2020 target. In 2018, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption reached 18.0 percent in the EU, up from 17.5 percent in 2017 and more than double the share in 2004 (8.5 percent), the first year for which the data are available according to figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

Twelve European Union (EU) Member States have reached a share equal to or above their 2020 target. In 2018, the share
of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption reached 18.0 percent in the EU, up from 17.5 percent
in 2017 and more than double the share in 2004 (8.5 percent), the first year for which the data are available according to figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU (graphic courtesy Eurostat).

The increase in the share of renewables is essential to reach the EU climate and energy goals. The EU’s target is to reach 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 and at least 32 percent by 2030. Among the 28 EU Member States, 12 Member States have already reached a share equal to or above their national 2020 binding targets: Bulgaria, Czechia (Czech Republic), Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Finland, and Sweden.

Four Member States are close to meet their targets (i.e. less than 1 percentage point (pp) away), nine are between 1 and 4 pp away, while three are 4 or more pp away from their targets.

Sweden had the highest and the Netherlands had the lowest share

In 2018, the share of renewable sources in gross final energy consumption increased in 21 of the 28 Member States compared with 2017, while remaining stable in one Member State and decreasing in six. Since 2004, it has significantly grown in all Member States.

Sweden had by far the highest share in 2018 with more than half (54.6 percent) of its energy coming from renewable sources, ahead of Finland (41.2 percent), Latvia (40.3 percent), Denmark (36.1 percent) and Austria (33.4 percent).

At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportion of renewables was registered in the Netherlands (7.4 percent). Low shares, less than ten percent, were also recorded in Malta (8.0 percent), Luxembourg (9.1 percent) and Belgium (9.4 percent).

The Netherlands and France the furthest away from their goals

Each EU Member State has its own Europe 2020 target. The national targets take into account the Member States’ different starting points, renewable energy potential, and economic performance aka burden-sharing. Romania is 0.1 percentage point (pp) away from its national 2020 objective. Hungary, Austria, and Portugal are less than 1 pp away and Germany, Luxembourg and Malta around 2 pp away from their 2020 targets.

At the opposite end of the scale, the Netherlands (6.6 pp), France (6.4 pp), Ireland (4.9 pp), the United Kingdom (4.0 pp) and Slovenia (3.9 pp) are the furthest away from their targets.

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