Renewable energy in Europe

WWF supports the commitment of the EU to a legally binding target of 20% energy demand coming from renewable sources by 2020. This overall target needs, however, to be broken down into national and sectoral targets for heating/cooling, electricity and transport.

Wind power (mainly offshore) and solid biomass from wood based resources for highly efficient combined heat and power represents the highest potential for renewable energy in the EU in the next decades. Transport biofuels also have an important role to play. Solar, geothermal and other types might need a longer time frame before their full potential can be achieved.

To allow supply and facilitate access in the market of new energy sources, it is also vital to achieve the full liberalisation of European energy markets; the reason being that monopolies and oligopolies tend to keep out new and innovative players.

The EU is establishing a 10% renewable energy target for the transport sector by 2020. WWF believes that the EU must also endorse a mandatory sustainability certification system for bioenergy, wether it comes from domestic or imported sources.

The certification system must be based on enhancing the potential of bioenergy to cut greenhouse gas emissions, while avoiding the wider negative impacts of production. For example, already millions of hectares of tropical forest have been felled to make way for plantations of palm oil, soya and sugar that can potentially serve as biofuel sources.
 / ©: WWF-Canon / Adam Oswell
Solutions exist! We need to use "clean" or renewable energy such as sun and wind. The Sustainable Energy Development Authority Office's in Sydney has installed solar panels on their roof.
© WWF-Canon / Adam Oswell

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