EU boasts of strides in renewable energy

Nearly a third of all member states have met their 2020 commitments early.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Feb. 10, 2016 at 6:29 AM
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BRUSSELS, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The European Union said it nearly doubled its share of renewable energy from a 2004 benchmark and was close to meeting its target obligations for 2020.

Eurostat, the European statistics office, said data from 2014, the last full year for which it published information, show the share of energy from renewable resources was 16 percent, about 89 percent above 2004 levels, the first year it started keeping records on renewables.

European member states are obligated to use renewable energy to meet 20 percent of their energy needs by the end of the decade.

"Renewables will continue to play a key role in helping the EU meet its energy needs beyond 2020," the statistics office said. "For this reason, member states have already agreed on a new EU renewable energy target of at least 27 percent by 2030."

The EU touted its role in leading negotiations in Paris last year aimed at brokering a breakthrough climate agreement. In December, nearly 200 national leaders agreed to make strides to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level necessary to curb global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

In November, European leaders adopted a list of 195 projects aimed at advancing energy security and climate objectives across the region. A budget of $5.75 billion was allocated to the cause through 2020.

Of the 28 members, a third of those in the EU have met their 2020 targets already. The United Kingdom scored worse, with 7 percent of its energy sourced from renewables in 2014, Eurostat data show.

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