Is the EU meeting its targets for energy consumption?

Due to the rise in energy consumption in the transport sector, the progress that’s being made in energy efficiency is starting to slow down, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The latest report from the agency says that renewable energy made up 17.4% of all energy in 2017. And although this in an increase from the previous year, which was 17%, there has been a reduction in the use of cleaner energy alternatives across Europe.

The EU’s energy target is that, by the year 2020, 20% of all energy needs to be renewable. In addition to this, greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by 20%, based on the levels seen in 1990. An energy efficiency target was also set at 20%; but, this is not legally binding in EU member states.

The EEA noted that the EU “remains on track” to reach its renewable energy target, which is 20% by the year 2020. However, the current pace and the progress that’s being made at the moment is “insufficient” to meet the 10% target which has been set out for the transport industry.

Furthermore, the EEA has warned that “with 2020 approaching, the trajectories needed to meet the national targets are becoming steeper.”The overall rise in energy consumption, “which caused the share of renewables in energy consumption to fall”, has also been blamed for the slowing progress.

Furthermore, the group says that “rising energy consumption, particularly in the transport sector, is to blame for the slowdown. While the EU as a whole remains on track to meet its 2020 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase renewable energy use, recent increasing trends in energy consumption need to be reversed in order to meet the 2020 targets.”

The EU has now finalised its new targets to be achieved by 2030. These include new targets for CO2 emissions for cars, as well as to reduce emissions from trucks and lorries. The Commission also plans to set further targets for 2050, which will include a zero-emissions goal.


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