Europe: 11 member states smash 2020 renewables targets early

Eleven EU countries have already met their 2020 renewable energy goals ahead of schedule while the bloc as a whole has reached 17%, just shy of the overall target with two years to go, according to new data from Eurostat, reports euractiv.com.

The data shows that the share of energy from renewables reached 17% in 2016, meaning the share of the energy mix has doubled for solar, wind, hydropower et al since figures were first compiled in 2004 (8.5%).

Sweden topped the charts with 53.8%, followed by Finland (38.7%) and Latvia (37.2%). The Netherlands, France and Ireland are performing the most poorly though, as they are the furthest away from their individual objectives.

Each member state has its own 2020 target, which takes into account respective starting points when the goal was set and geographical peculiarities. Malta, for example, has a much lower target than Germany, due to obvious differences in size.

EU Climate boss Miguel Arias Cañete acknowledged that the impressive figures mean that “the case for higher targets and ambition is stronger than ever”, just a week after the European Parliament agreed to increase the Commission’s proposed 27% 2030 target to 35%.

Greens MEP Claude Turmes called the 35% benchmark the “bare minimum” for meeting obligations made under the Paris climate deal but congratulated his colleagues for brokering a strong agreement, after the vote in Strasbourg.

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