Eleven of the 28 European Union (EU) member states reached their renewable energy targets for 2020 in 2017, according to a report by the EU statistical office Eurostat.
In 2017 the total share of energy from renewable sources was 17.5%, rising from 17% in 2016. The growth is a key indicator of the Europe 2020 strategy, which calls for 20% of energy sources to come from renewables by 2020, increasing to 32% by 2030.
The EU member states that have already reached their targets are Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Finland and Sweden. Latvia and Austria are also just 1% away from their 2020 targets.
Sweden generates the highest percentage of energy from renewable sources, with 54.5% in 2017. Other countries with high percentages of renewable energy are Finland with 41% and Latvia with 39%.
The countries with the lowest production of renewable energy include Luxembourg at 6.4%, the Netherlands at 6.6% and Malta at 7.2%. The countries which are furthest away from reaching the 2020 targets are the Netherlands (7.6% off 2020 targets) France (6.7%) and Ireland (5.3%).
EU climate action and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: “The EU is on track to meet its 2020 renewable target, with 11 member states already above their national targets. And as Europe heads to become the world’s first major economy to go climate neutral by 2050, we will need to step up our efforts.
“In a climate-neutral Europe, power generation should be fully decarbonised by 2050, more than 80% of the EU’s electricity will be produced by renewable energy sources. To get there, the momentum created by renewables for competitiveness, growth and jobs in Europe must continue.”