The European Union’s energy transition is already well underway, according to the Second Report on the State of the Energy Union published by the European Commission this week, which revealed that the EU has already made significant progress on delivering on its 2020 energy and climate targets.
The European Commission published its second State of the Energy Union report this week, which it says “shows that the modernisation of the European Union economy and the transition to a low-carbon era are happening.” Further, the report concludes that, “In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy, Europe is on track to reach its 2020 targets.”
“Europe is well on track to meet its 2020 climate and energy targets,” said Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy.
“Despite the current geopolitical uncertainties, Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition. There is no alternative. And the facts speak for themselves: renewable energy is now cost-competitive and sometimes cheaper than fossil fuels, employs over one million people in Europe, attracts more investments than many other sectors, and has reduced our fossil fuels imports bill by €16 billion. Now, efforts will need to be sustained as Europe works with its partners to lead the global race to a more sustainable, competitive economy.”
More specifically, the report concluded that the European Union had achieved a renewables energy share of 16% in the 2014 final energy consumption figures, putting the EU well on track to meet its 20% target by 2020. The EU is also on track to meet its 20% energy efficiency by 2020 target.
Renewable energy shares in the European Union vs. Renewable Energy Directive and National Renewable Energy Action Plan Trajectories
The EU is also on track to meet its 20% energy efficiency by 2020 target. Final energy consumption — defined as “the use of energy by end users such as residential consumers, industry, services sector” — has already reached its 2020 target, with the EU only consuming 1062 Mtoe in 2014, 2.2% below the 2020 target of 1086 Mtoe. As regards primary energy consumption, the EU has a little ways to go, having used 1507 Mtoe in 2014, 1.6% above the 1483 Mtoe target for 2020.
The European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions had also fallen, and was 22% below the 1990 level in 2015, with emissions remaining on a decreasing trend. The EU is also continuing to prove the decoupling of economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. During the 1990 to 2015 period, the European Union’s combined GDP grew by 50%, while total emissions fell by 22%.