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REN21 10 Years Report

28 and monitoring schemes. This framework was further developed and integrated in the Energy and Climate package, which was adopted in 2009. It contained a Directive on the promotion of the use of renewable energy sources, setting the objective of reach- ing 20% of the European Union’s energy consumption through renewable energy sources by 2020. For the first time, this piece of legislation incorporated all three energy sectors: electricity, heating and cooling, transport. The European Union targets were translated into binding national renewable energy targets as a share of final energy consumption. Each Member State is required to meet these minimum targets by 2020. n DEPLOYMENT OF RENEWABLES 2013 was the sixth year of dominance of renewables in new power capacity in Europe with renewables in European Union accounting for 72% of electric capacity additions, compared to the global average of 56%. The 72% share in 2013 is in stark contrast to a decade earlier, when conventional fossil generation accounted for 80% of new capacity in the EU-27 plus Norway and Switzerland. When looking at total renewable capacity installed per capita, the European Union leads; 42% of global non-hydro renewables capacity is in Europe, compared to less than 17% of global elec- tricity demand. Variable renewables are achieving high levels of penetration in several countries. For example, throughout 2013, wind power met 33.2% and 20.9% of electricity demand in Denmark and Spain respectively; in Italy, solar PV met 7.8% of total annual electricity demand. These high renewable shares increase the need for smart policy decisions to transform the energy system towards a flexible mix of centralised and decen- tralised production and consumption. The European Union’s heating and cooling sector offers an immense yet widely untapped potential for renewable energy deployment. Heat from biomass, solar and geothermal sources makes up a significant portion of the energy derived from renew- ables. The sector is slowly evolving as countries begin slowly to develop and enact supporting policies and to track the share of heat derived from renewable sources. Renewable energy is currently used in the transport sector in the form of gaseous and liquid biofuels and in electric cars; in 2012 liquid biofuels provided about 4.7% of European Union’s transport fuels. There are still limited but increasing initiatives to link electric cars and transport systems with renewable energy, particularly at the city and regional levels. Since 2004, the share of renewable sources in gross final con- sumption of energy in all sectors grew in all Member States, though not as fast as in the electricity sectorv . The largest increases over this ten year period were recorded in Sweden (from 38.7% in 2004 to 51% in 2012), Denmark (from 14.5% to 26%), Austria (from 22.7% to 32.1%), Greece (from 7.2% to 15.1%) and Italy (from 5.7% to 13.5%). Germany continued to be at the forefront of renewables deploy- ment globally. In 2011, Germany voted to phase-out nuclear power by 2022 and pledge to accelerate the “Energiewende”, the project to transition Germany’s energy portfolio to one domi- nated by renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development. By 2013, renewables provided 25.4%vi of elec- tricity consumption (up from 11.6% in 2006), 10.2% of heating demand (up from 6.2%), and 5.9% of transport fuels (excluding air traffic). By 2013, like in 2012, renewables provided 12.3% of Germany’s final energy consumption. n MILESTONES OF THE PAST DECADE The main milestone in Europe over the past decade is the climate and energy package which contains a set of binding minimum targets and legislation which aims to ensure the European Union meets its climate and energy targets for 2020. These targets, known as the "20-20-20" targets, set three key objectives for 2020 : 1) a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels; 2) raising the share of EU energy consumption pro- duced from renewables to 20%; and 3) a 20% improvement in the EU's energy efficiency. The targets were set by European Union leaders March 2007, when they committed Europe to become a highly energy- efficient, low carbon economy. The targets were subsequently enacted through the climate and energy package in 2009. The 20-20-20 targets represent an integrated approach to climate and energy policy that aims to combat climate change, increase the EU’s energy security and strengthen its competitiveness. To date, it is uncertain whether the European Union is on track to meet its member-agreed binding target to increase the share renewable energy of final energy consumption to 20% by 2020. Although three European Union Member States (Bulgaria, Estonia, and Sweden) already reached their nationally binding 2020 targets in 2012, other countries have fallen short of their obligations, due to policy changes and lack of ambition. n MAIN CHALLENGES FOR RENEWABLES In recent years, as the shares of renewables have increased in the European Union, they have also faced increasing obstacles in the member countries. After a decade of growth, Europe’s renewable energy investment in 2013 was down 44% from 2012. A central challenge is in the electricity sector, where relatively inflexible, conventional power plants and grid systems must be v) Source: Eurostat. Reference see endnotes. vi) Source: BMWi. Reference see endnotes.

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