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12 Jul

Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 – Can we do it?

by Sarah Wilkinson

Renewable energy can be composed in a wide variety of ways: wind, solar, hydro, tidal, and geothermal and also biomass. Renewable energy is something that is vastly growing throughout Europe therefore the European Union has lowered its dependence on imported fossil fuels and makes its energy production more sustainable.

The 2020 package is a set of mandatory regulations to ensure the EU meets its climate and energy targets by 2020. Therefore the target is set to cut 20% in greenhouse gas emissions, to use 20% of EU energy from renewable sources and a 20% improvement in energy efficiency. The target in each country in the EU differs according to national wealth – from a 20% cut for the richest countries to a maximum 20% increase for the least wealthy.

A target of 20% final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020 has been set for the EU by the EU’s renewable energy directive. To achieve this, each country of the EU is required to have at least 10% of their transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020. Also, the countries have devoted to embracing their own national renewables targets ranging from 10% in Malta to 49% in Sweden. Britain has set a target of 15%.

Each EU country has adopted national renewable energy action plans showing what actions they intend to take to adhere to their renewable targets.


These plans have been split into sectors of: electricity, heating and cooling, transport, planned policy measures, the different mix of renewable technologies they expect to employ and the planned use of cooperation mechanisms.

Following from this, Amber Rudd conceded the UK does not have the right policies in place to meet the EU 2020 targets of sourcing 15% of energy from renewable sources. Rudd told the MP’s that reaching the target would be difficult and went on further to say that the UK could end up having to buy renewable energy from its European neighbours if it fell short.

“It’s my aim we should meet the 2020 target. I recognise we don’t have the right policies, particularly in transport and heat, but we have four to five years and I remain committed to making the target,” she told the energy and climate change committee.

To find out more information on the 2020 targets, click here.