'More effort needed to meet EU energy goals'

Posted: 22 February 2001

There is no chance that the European Union will meet its goal of doubling its share of energy produced from renewable sources unless the rising demand for energy can be slowed down, concludes the latest review of renewable energy policy by the European Commission.

The goal, set out in a 1997 policy 'white paper', recommended achieving 12 per cent of European Union energy supply from renewables by 2010.

"This objective will never be achieved if gross energy consumption continues to increase in line with the current trend", says the Commission in its February 2001 review.

Despite big increases in wind power and other renewable sources, the increase in renewables' market share has been "modest" because of rising consumption, it says. There is a need now for new measures, both to slow demand and improve energy efficiency.

The Commission urges the 15 EU members to develop their own objectives not just for electricity generation, as at present, but for heating, cooling and transport.

Energy crops should be given greater encouragement under the Common Agricultural Policy and energy taxes should be revised to favour biofuels, the Commission urges.

Source: Environmental News Service