Renewable Energy Targets – UK lags behind

1st February 2017 | Commercial Energy

The European Union is on track to meet its renewable energy targets, but the UK lags behind. The UK is one of only three member states to become more depended on imported energy in the last decade.

There is good progress towards the goal of using 20% of final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. As of 2014, the share of renewables reached 16% of the gross final energy consumption of the EU. The EU has managed to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of its economy. It has also decoupled its economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions.

Between 1990 and 2015, the EU’s combined GDP grew by 50%, while emissions decreased by 22%.

However, while for 22 member states total net import dependency decreased between 2005 and 2014. For the same period, import dependency significantly increased in Denmark, Poland and the UK. This is due to the decline of indigenous fossil fuel production and these countries will miss renewable energy targets. Lithuania also became more dependent due to the closure of nuclear plants.

EU Commission Report

A Commission Report on the State of the Energy Union states, “Largely driven by falling coal and gas prices, the gradual penetration of renewables into the power sector and subdued demand, wholesale electricity prices decreased in most member states between 2013 and 2015. Regional differences remained significant, with the highest prices in the United Kingdom and southern Europe and the lowest prices in the Scandinavian countries.”

11 of the EU’s 28 member states have not yet reached the target of 10% of their energy production being connected to other member states. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania and the UK need to improve. Connecting Europe’s electricity systems will allow the EU to boost its security of electricity supply and to integrate more renewable energy. This will help to reach its renewable energy targets.

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