Europe 2020: Renewable Energy Plans - Out of steam the countries that have a long way to go

BALTIC STATES: The Baltic states all yearn to develop wind markets, but there are few signs of action towards meeting the European 2020 renewables target.

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Their leader in wind is Estonia, with 142MW of installed capacity. The country's government plans to add 200MW annually until 2013, then 400MW a year until 2020. But there has been a shortage in electricity transmission since the Soviet era, and this is jamming the pipeline.

Runner-up Lithuania, with 92MW installed, has abandoned plans for regional wind quotas. Meanwhile, uncertainties over market prices for wind power prices bode ill.

Even if new projects are proposed in third-place Latvia, with only 29MW, the grid can handle no more than 200MW more wind anyway (Windpower Monthly, March 2010).


Belgium's confidence in making its European 2020 target of 13% of all energy from renewables is shaky. It faces the difficult task of sharing the target between the regional governments of Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels and, for offshore renewables, the federal government.

Yet, renewable energy association Edora is hopeful. If aggressive steps are taken to speed expansion of the grid and facilitate project permitting, it foresees a scenario in which nearly 18% of energy is to be supplied by renewables in 2020. This assumes a high degree of energy efficiency.

A projected 3.5GW of onshore wind would produce 7.7TWh of electricity in 2020, while 2.8GW of offshore wind would generate 9.1TWh. Combined, that would represent 57% of total generation from renewables.


Greece says it will meet its European 2020 renewables target largely through electricity production rather than through cuts in transport or heating. Around 40% of electricity generation in 2020 will come from renewables. The target for wind is 8.5GW, around 60% of the overall target for renewables. The problem is how to convert these good intentions into reality.


Luxembourg says it will be unable to reach its 2020 European renewables goal through domestic action alone. The tiny, landlocked country must import 99% of total energy and more than two-thirds of electricity. With few renewables resources, it plans to rely on a mechanism under the European renewables directive for green energy from outside.

A 2007 study by Germany's Fraunhofer Institute and the Energy Economics Group of Vienna speculated that, at best, renewables would meet 8.2% of total energy supply and 9.8% of electricity in 2020. Wind would produce annual output of just 227GWh, compared to a projected 7.7TWh from onshore wind alone in neighbouring Belgium (Windpower Monthly, March 2009).

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