European renewable energy share increases to 13.4% in 2011

January 14, 2013 | 00:00

European renewable energy share increases to 13.4% in 2011

In the Renewable Energy Directive from 2009 all European Member States agreed to increase the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption in such a way that for the 27 Member States the share would be 20% by 2020. This has resulted in mandatory targets for all countries. EurObserv’ER has determined whether these countries are on track to meet their target. Calculating the share is a delicate exercise, and EurObserv'ER is the first organisation estimating this share for the year 2011.

The renewable energy share of gross final energy consumption amounts to 13.4% in 2011 against 12.5% in 2010, which represents an increase of 0.9 point (rounded data). This increase can be explained by the combination of a slightly higher gross consumption of final energy from renewable energy sources – 151.1 Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (Mtoe) (against 148.6 Mtoe in 2010) – and of a significant decrease of the total gross final energy consumption (1 126.6 Mtoe in 2011 against 1 184.6Mtoe in 2010).

Gross final energy consumption from renewable energy sources increased by 1.7% (+2.5 Mtoe) whereas total gross final energy consumption decreased by -4.9% (-58.0 Mtoe). This important decrease is the consequence of an exceptionally mild winter in Europe, which has contained the need for heating, and of a slow down in economic activity.

The relatively small increase of renewable energy consumption is due to a lower consumption of wood
fuel and to a relatively small increase of biofuels consumption. It is not linked to the important decrease of the European hydroelectricity production in 2011, since the calculations presented here are based on a normalised hydroelectricity production and not on effective production.

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