Over the last decade, the overall investments in Renewable Energy Sources (RES) have skyrocketed from 45 billion dollars (2004) to 270 billion dollars, which, according to the study by Bloomberg Energy Finance, represents a global increase of 500% for the 2004-2014 period.
GLOBAL NEW INVESTMENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY
(Developed v Developing Countries 2004-2014)
The need to withdraw from carbon due to the hazardous climatic change impacts; catastrophic accidents such as the recent nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan; the commitment to corporate social responsibility; as well as the energy withdrawal trend from third countries has led most countries over the last 20 years to establish a special regulatory framework for the promotion and operation of RES projects as well as the development of the required funding means that will financially support them.
The EU Directive 2009/28/EC on renewable energy sources constitutes the European framework for the promotion of RES by defining mandatory national targets for the achievement of a 20% RES share in the final consumption of energy and a 10% RES share in transport by 2020. It should be noted that these are the primary targets of the EU’s growth strategy until 2020, given that they contribute to Europe’s industrial and technological evolution, to the reduction of emission of gaseous pollutants and the improvement of the energy balance while reducing energy imports from third countries.
According to data by Eurostat in 2013, the energy share from renewable sources in the EU’s gross final consumption of energy amounted to 15.0% compared to 8.3% in 2004. In other words, an 81% increase has been recorded in a decade with an average growth rate of 7%. The following chart illustrates the energy share from renewable sources in the gross final consumption of energy for the 2004-2013 period according to the Eurostat report.
SHARE OF ENERGY FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION (in % of gross final energy consumption)
The performance of the EU member states varies in terms of meeting the targets laid down by the EU with Sweden, Estonia and Bulgaria having already met the 2020 targets, while the performances of Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom fall short. The following chart illustrates the share % of electricity from renewable source in EU member states for 2013 as well as the 2020 target of this share per country (source Eurostat).
SHARE OF ENERGY FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES IN THE EU MEMBER STATES 2013 (in % of gross final energy consumption)
Based on the above data, Greece’s energy share from renewable sources gross final consumption of energy for 2013 amounted to 15.0% with a 2020 target of 18%. This percentage is considered to be extremely satisfactory given that the country has been in an austerity regime since 2010. Based on national targets, Greece will need to install RES projects amounting to a capacity of 10,650 MW by 2020, while the installed capacity at the end of 2014 was 4,466 MW, pursuant to the data published by the Operator of the Electricity Market (LAGIE).
The following table illustrates the installed capacity for 2014 per type of RES as well as the corresponding targets for 2020:
In 2014, Greece produced 41,250 MWh of electricity.