The UK reliance on imported energy has increased, according to the European commission, while the European Union is on track to meet renewable energy and climate change targets.
20% by 2020
A report from the European commission boasts of good progress towards the target of using 20% of final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.
However, the UK is one of only three member states to become more dependent on imported energy in the last decade as it closes down coal fired generation capacity.
Renewables step-up required
Since 2014, the share of renewables reached 16% of the gross final energy consumption of the EU.
But efforts will need to be stepped up to meet the EU’s 2030 commitments of a 40% reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions and 27% target for gross final energy consumption from renewable sources, suggests the report.
UK off target
The report also established that 11 of the EU’s 28 member states have not yet reached the target of connecting 10% of their energy production to other member states.
The UK are said to need “to continue their efforts” to improve interconnectivity as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Romania.
The commission believes connecting Europe’s electricity systems will allow the EU to boost its security of electricity supply and to integrate more renewable energy.
Energy poverty also remains an issue in many member states. On average, energy-related costs made up 8.6% of low-income households’ expenditure in the EU. This share has increased for most EU countries since 2005.
Greenhouse good news
An important and very positive message to come from the analysis is that the EU appears to have ‘decoupled’ greenhouse gas emissions from economic activity with the EU’s GDP growing by 50% from 1990 to 2015, while greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 22%.
The EU as a whole is now likely to become the most greenhouse gas efficient economic block within the G20.