Iceland is far shead of EU’s renewable energy targets
In 2012, energy from renewable sources within the European Union (EU) was estimated to have contributed 14.1% of gross final energy consumption in the Union, compared with 8.3% in 2004 (the first year for which this data is available).
The share of renewables in gross final energy consumption is one of the headline indicators of the Europe 2020 strategy. The target to be reached by 2020 for the EU is a share of 20% renewable energy use in gross final energy consumption. The national targets take into account the EU’s Member States’ different starting points, renewable energy potential and economic performance.
Since 2004, the share of renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy grew in all the EU Member States. The highest shares of renewable energy in final energy consumption in 2012, within the EU Member States, was found in Sweden (51.0% of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy), and the lowest in Malta (1.4%), Luxembourg (3.1%), the United Kingdom (4.2%) and the Netherlands (4.5%).
In 2011, Estonia was the first EU Member State to reach its 2020 target and in 2012 Bulgaria, Estonia and Sweden already achieved their 2020 targets (16%, 25% and 49% respectively). Since 2004, the share of renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy grew in all the EU Member States. The largest increases during this period were recorded in Sweden (from 38.7% in 2004 to 51.0% in 2012), Denmark from 14.5% to 26.0%), Austria (from 22.7% to 32.1%), Greece (from 7.2% to 15.1%) and Italy (from 5.7% to 13.5%).
This is a good progress. However, this is very far from the share of renewable energy in Iceland, which now account for close to 76% of the gross final consumption of all energy in the country (already higher than the 2020 target of 72%). See further information in the Icelandic National Renewable Energy Action Plan (published in December 2012).