Renewable energy sources directive (RES)
According to the EU Directive 2009/28/EC the renewable energies are: wind, solar, aerothermal, geothermal, hydrothermal and ocean energy, hydropower, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogases. Passive solar and energy efficiency are not included to avoid double counting.
One of the first action plans from European Commission to promote the renewable energy issue was published on 7 December 2005 as Biomass Action Plan. The plan identified 32 key activities for boosting the bioenergy market.
In January 2007, the Renewable Energy Road Map was published, outlining a long-term strategy. It called for a mandatory target of a 20% share of renewable energies in the EU's energy mix by 2020.
To achieve this objective, the EU adopted the Directive on renewable energy (RES) in April 2009. This directive also required Member States to have submitted national renewable energy action plans by 30 June 2010 and national overall targets for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in 2020.
Table: National overall targets for share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in 2020:
Share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy, 2005 (S2005)
Target for share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy, 2020 (S2020)
The RES energy states that members shall introduce in their building regulations and codes appropriate measures in order to increase the share of all kinds of energy from renewable sources in the building sector. Many countries have already included a renewable energy quota for use in buildings to achieve the goals of the directive. Examples are:
- DE: 15 – 50% - depending on type of building and RES
- NO: 40% - district heating included
- UK: 10%
- SI: 25%
- IT (Lombardia): min 50% of the energy used for district hot water (DHW)
- DK: demand for more thermal solar if DHW consumption exceed more than 20 m3/day
- NL gives credit for renewable energy use
- Other countries are investigating the issue (BE, HU).
RES also allows the use of heat pumps for the use of aerothermal, geothermal or hydrothermal heat. The energy from the heat pumps is accounted according to the specified procedure. Only heat pumps for which SPF (the estimated average seasonal performance factor) > 1,15 * 1/η shall be taken into account.
On 24 November 2009 the European Commission launched consultations on Europe 2020 strategy. On the March 3 2010, the Commission unveiled the Europe 2020 strategy. The new agenda puts innovation and green growth at the heart of its blueprint for competitiveness and proposes tighter monitoring of national reform programs.
The European Commission presented on 31 January 2011 its Communication "Renewable Energy: Progressing towards the 2020 target". It shows that the 2020 renewable energy policy goals are likely to be met and exceeded.
A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 is a plan of the EC to meet the long-term target of reducing domestic emissions by 80 to 95% by mid-century. It was presented on 8 March 2011.
Directive 2009/28/EC (Renewable Energy Directive 2009) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.
Directive 2004/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 on the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market and amending Directive 92/42/EEC.
The Summaries of the renewable energy EU legislation can be accessed via Summaries of EU legislation website. It presents the main aspects of renewable energy EU legislation in a concise, easy-to-read and unbiased way.
Further information and useful links
General overview on the European Commission websites:
European Commission – Directorate-General for Energy
European Commission – Renewable Energy
European Commission – ManagEnergy – Renewable energy
European Commission – Roadmap 2050
Renewable Energy Action Plans:
National Renewable Energy Action Plans by country
National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) template (2009)
EurActiv – EU renewable energy policy
European Renewable Energy Council – Renewable Energy
The European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources