Renewable energy accounted for only 9.7% Cyprus’ total energy consumption in 2017, figures released by Eurostat on Tuesday show.
Not only are these figures low, but they show that Cyprus faces a major challenge if it is to meet the 13% target set by the EU for 2020.
Despite the abundant sunshine, renewable energy in Cyprus accounted for only 3.3% if total consumption in 2004, rising to 8.9% in 2014, 9.4% in 2015 and 9.3% in 2016.
In 2017, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy, in the European Union was 17.5%, up from 17.0% in 2016 and more than double the share in 2004 (8.5%), the first year for which the data are available.
The share of renewables in gross final consumption of energy is one of the headline indicators of the Europe 2020 strategy. The EU’s target is to obtain 20% of energy in gross final consumption of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and at least 32% by 2030.
Since 2004, the share of renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy grew significantly in all Member States. Compared with 2016, it has increased in 19 of the 28 Member States.
With more than half (54.5%) of its energy coming from renewable sources in its gross final consumption of energy, Sweden had by far the highest share in 2017, ahead of Finland (41.0%), Latvia (39.0%), Denmark (35.8%) and Austria (32.6%) At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions of renewables were registered in Luxembourg (6.4%), the Netherlands (6.6%) and Malta (7.2%).
Each EU Member State has its own Europe 2020 target. The national targets take into account the Member States’ different starting points, renewable energy potential and economic performance.
Among the 28 EU Member States, 11 have already reached the level required to meet their national 2020 targets: Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Finland and Sweden. Moreover, Latvia and Austria are around 1 percentage point (pp) away from theirs 2020 targets.
At the opposite end of the scale, the Netherlands (7.4 pp from its national 2020 objective), France (6.7 pp), Ireland (5.3 pp), the United Kingdom (4.8 pp), Luxembourg (4.6 pp), Poland (4.1 pp) and Belgium (3.9 pp) are the furthest away from their targets.