From Statistics explained
Revision as of 14:24, 30 March 2010 by Chrisdh
- Data from July 2009, most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Database.
This article provides an overview of statistical data on sustainable development in the areas of transport. They are based on the set of sustainable development indicators the European Union (EU) agreed upon for monitoring its sustainable development strategy. Together with similar indicators for other areas, they make up the report 'Sustainable development in the European Union - 2009 monitoring report of the EU sustainable development strategy', which Eurostat draws up every two years to provide an objective statistical picture of progress towards the goals and objectives set by the EU sustainable development strategy and which underpins the European Commission’s report on its implementation.
- Consumption of renewables has grown over the last decade but the share remains far from the target
During the 1990s the consumption of renewable energies in the EU-27 increased significantly and has continued to grow between 2000 and 2007. Th is resulted in a share of 7.8 % in 2007 which remains, however, substantially below the 12 % target for 2010. Even if the highest annual change of 8.3 % between 2006 and 2007 continued, the share of renewables would remain below the target.
Biomass is by far the most important renewable energy source, delivering almost 70 % of the total renewable energy in 2007 and having the fastest growing share. Hydro power is second in importance even though both its share and its absolute contribution have diminished between 2000 and 2007 due to a series of several very dry years. Wind and geothermal are still minor contributors and, although their absolute growth rates are increasing rapidly, their shares are only growing slowly.
The proportion of renewables in gross inland energy consumption in 2007 varied widely between Member States. It ranged from 2.1 % in the UK to 29.7 % in Latvia and 30.9 % in Sweden, reflecting differences in resource base, mainly in respect to hydropower capacity and availability of biomass.
Biomass is the predominant renewable source, across all Member States, representing 5.4 % of EU-27 consumption in 2007. It provides 24.6 % of the gross inland energy consumption in Latvia, 19.3 % in Finland and 19.4 % in Sweden. Most of this is wood. In six Member States more than 90 % of renewable energy is derived from biomass. It is also the fastest growing share amongst renewable sources, due to the fact that biomass can be used in all three end-use sectors: power generation, transport and heating.
Second in overall importance is hydropower, which, however, not only decreased its share from 1.8 % to 1.5 % over the period 2000 to 2007 due to several very dry years, but also decreased in absolute terms. Wind and geothermal, whose shares have been growing at a very modest pace, are still relatively minor sources, together representing only 0.8 % of EU-27 energy consumption in 2007. In absolute terms, however, wind power capacity has been growing rapidly. It is now a significant renewable energy source in Spain, Denmark and Germany, where it makes up 22 %, 17 % and 12 % of renewables, respectively. Geothermal, generally another minor source, is the most important renewable energy source in Italy, where it represented 39 % of renewable energy in 2007. Solar energy remains the least important of all renewable energies in terms of its contribution. It represents 0.1 % of EU-27 gross inland energy consumption and 1.2 % of renewables, but its growth in absolute terms is impressive and solar energy constitutes an important renewable energy source in Cyprus and, to a lesser extent, in Greece with shares of 83 % and 10 % of total renewable energy.
Measures aimed at reducing the growth in gross inland energy consumption, for example through energy savings and improving energy efficiency, will also influence the growth rate of this indicator.
Renewable energy sources are important for reducing the EU’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. In addition, a more mature market for renewable energy technologies is expected to bring about a number of social and economic benefits, including regional and local development opportunities, export opportunities and employment.
Two targets with different time horizons guide the EU effort to expand renewable capacity: the 1997 White Paper’s goal to double the use of renewables in the European Union from 6 to 12 % between 1996 and 2010, and the 20 % renewables target for 2020 established in the recent Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of renewable energy. The 2010 target is set as percentage share of renewables in gross inland energy consumption. The 2020 target is defined as share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption and will require a different indicator .
Unlike the indicative target set for 2010, the 20 % target set for 2020 is binding for all Member States. An effort sharing agreement regulates how much each Member State needs to contribute, with the target depending on the Member State’s current share of renewables, its resource base and its wealth. National targets range from 10 % for Malta up to 49 % for Sweden.