The FINANCIAL -- In 2015, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy reached 16.7% in the European Union (EU), nearly double 2004 (8.5%), the first year for which the data are available.
The share of renewables in gross final consumption of energy is one of the headline indicators of the Europe 2020 strategy. The target to be reached by 2020 for the EU is a share of 20% energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy. However, renewables will continue to play a key role in helping the EU meet its energy needs beyond 2020. For this reason, Member States have already agreed on a new EU renewable energy target of at least 27% by 2030.
Highest share of renewables in Sweden, lowest in Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands
Since 2004, the share of renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy grew significantly in all Member States. Compared with a year ago, it has increased in 22 of the 28 Member States.
With more than half (53.9%) of energy from renewable sources in its gross final consumption of energy, Sweden had by far in 2015 the highest share, ahead of Finland (39.3%), Latvia (37.6%), Austria (33.0%) and Denmark (30.8%). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions of renewables were registered in Luxembourg and Malta (both 5.0%), the Netherlands (5.8%), Belgium (7.9%) and the United Kingdom (8.2%).
The Netherlands and France: 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. Among the 28 EU Member States, eleven have already reached the level required to meet their national 2020 targets: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Finland and Sweden. Moreover, Austria and
Slovakia are about 1 percentage point from their 2020 targets. At the opposite end of the scale, the Netherlands (8.2 percentage points from reaching its national 2020 objective), France (7.8 pp), Ireland and the United Kingdom (both 6.8 pp) and Luxembourg (6.0 pp) are the furthest away from their targets.