The European renewables targets
Increasing the share of electricity from renewables in overall energy supplies is part of a set of goals geared towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and keeping climate change in check.
In its Renewables Directive, the EU declared that by 2020 renewables should have a share of 20% in overall energy supplies. More specifically, the measure that counts is the gross final consumption of energy, defined as final energy consumption plus grid losses plus power plant own consumption.
Beyond an overall goal for the EU at large, the Directive also lays down individual targets for each country. These take into account the initial situation and economic strength of each of them.
In this framework, Austria was assigned a target of 34%, to be reached by 2020. In 2010, we had reached a 30% share. This made Austria fifth among European countries in 2010, according to Eurostat data.
When considering the renewables share in gross electricity consumption in 2011, Austria came in third.
Since 2005, the renewables share in Austria has seen a general upwards trend, albeit with some slumps in between. In 2011, the share in overall energy consumption was 31%. In electricity consumption it was 64.6%, in district heating 46.3%, in transport 6.6%.
The figure above also shows a residual renewables part in total final energy consumption. This accounted for 27.6% in 2011 and is due to consumption in industry, households, the service sector and agriculture.
The next figure provides more detail on this residual part.