EU biofuels players set for surplus

The European Commission is taking an active role in steering member states on to the right path for renewables. It has worked with key industry associations and producers, many of which say they will produce surplus biofuels and bioenergy than mandated.

By 2020 the European Union must source 20% of its total energy (including heat, power and transport) from renewable sources. This target was set out in the Renewable Energy Directive in 2009. It requires them to submit action plans by June this year, detailing exactly how they will meet their share of this 20% target.

The Commission has funded a project inviting pan-technology renewable trade associations (such as the UK’s Renewable Energy Association (REA)) to submit shadow action plans, against which it can judge Government submissions.

The survey results show support for the 100+ measures proposed in the industry shadow action plan.

The result is that Bulgaria believes it will meet 18.7% of its total energy needs from renewables (against an official target of 16%), Germany should be 0.7% in surplus (its target being 18%), Greece expects an additional 2% (over their 18% target), Spain a 2.7% surplus (over their 20% target), Poland 0.48% a surplus (15% target), Sweden 1.2% surplus (49% target).

The document will now be completed in March and sent to the European co-ordinators, European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).

The first task required of Member States under the Directive, was to say how much of their target would be met domestically, and how much through trading with other countries. These progress reports had to be in with the Commission last December.

‘There seems to have been a mood change across the Union,’ Gaynor Hartnell, CEO of the REA, comments.

‘Where once countries seemed to focus their energies on wriggling out of their obligations, now they are more bullish. Several countries’ forecast documents show a surplus. Our Government has stated the UK is on track to meet the 2020 target domestically, provided energy consumption remains low. No longer is there talk of achieving the last few percentage points from actions taken outside the UK. This is as it should be.’

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