This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 02, 2004

European Union Falling Short on Renewable Energy Targets

As the International Conference for Renewable Energies takes place in Bonn, attendees are facing some unpleasant news from the European Commission: the European Union (EU) members are falling short of their renewable energy commitments. The commission projects that renewable energy will provide 18 to 19 percent of the electricity needs for the 15 original EU members (the "EU15") by 2010, short of the 22-percent target. The analysis shows that only Denmark, Finland, Germany, and Spain are meeting their targets. The EU15 also have a goal of meeting 12 percent of their total energy needs with renewable energy, but the commission says that at best, a 10 percent share will be achieved. To remedy the situation, the commission is calling for a stronger commitment from the EU countries. See the European Commission press release.

The EU is also falling short on meeting its Kyoto Protocol targets for limiting greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in December 2003. The EEA projected that EU nations (meaning the EU15) would reduce their emissions to only 0.5 percent below 1990 levels by 2010, far short of the goal to cut emissions to 8.0 percent below 1990 levels. The EEA says the increase in emissions from transportation, especially from road vehicles, was the main reason for the emissions increase. On the bright side, the EEA found that the EU15 could pull to within 0.5 percent of the goal if a number of policies and measures planned in 11 EU countries were put in effect. See the EEA press release or go directly to the full report.