EU missing some energy targets

Though fluctuating to a great degree, member states are still off the mark with only two years to go.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Feb. 5, 2018 at 6:44 AM
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Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Members of the European Union were falling short of their energy consumption targets for 2020, data from the EU's statistics office show.

Members of the EU are committed to reducing energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020 and were 4 percent off their target in 2016, the last four which Eurostat published data. The agency reported the largest gap, about 15 percent, in 2005 and the narrowest in 2014 at 1.7 percent.

"Over the years, the distance from primary energy consumption target has fluctuated greatly," the office stated.

The 2020 goals cover a wide range of energy benchmarks for EU members. Of the 28 members of the EU, only 11 have already met their targets for renewable energy. Of those, Sweden is the clear leader with 53.8 percent of its energy coming from renewable resources, followed by Finland with 38.7 percent.

For the 10 years ending in 2016, Estonia posted the largest increase in energy consumption with 13.4 percent, while Greece has the largest decline at 23.6 percent.

Greece has received a series of bailouts over the last 10 years as it seeks to recover from economic crises that spilled across the EU from 2007-08. On Thursday, William Murray, a spokesman for the International Monetary Fund said debt was a sustained issue for the country.

"We are working with our partners to arrive at a positive outcome that will credibly alleviate Greece's debt burden so that Greece can embark on a sustained recovery," he said in a statement.

More broadly, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said in January it's still necessary to stimulate the economy, though information so far "confirms a robust pace of economic expansion."

All member states had made strides to green up their economy over the last 14 years, according to Eurostat.

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