Mandatory renewable energy target

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Mandatory renewable energy targets are part of government legislated schemes which require electricity retailers to source specific proportions of total electricity sales from renewable energy sources according to a fixed time frame. The purpose of these schemes is to promote renewable energy and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. If this results in an additional cost of electricity, the additional cost is distributed across most customers by increases in other tariffs. The cost of this measure is therefore not funded by government budgets, except for costs of establishing and monitoring the scheme and any audit and enforcement actions. As the cost of renewable energy has become cheaper than other sources, meeting and exceeding a renewable energy target will also reduce the cost of electricity to consumers.

At least 67 countries have renewable energy policy targets of some type. In Europe, 28 European Union members states and 8 Energy Community Contracting Parties have legally binding renewable energy targets. The EU baseline target is 20% by 2020, while the United States also has a national RET of 20%. Similarly, Canada has 9 provincial RETs but no national target. Targets are typically for shares of electricity production, but some are defined as by primary energy supply, installed capacity, or otherwise. While some targets are based on 2010-2012 data, many are now for 2020, which ties in with the IPCC suggested greenhouse gas emission cuts of 25 to 40% by Annex I countries by 2020, although some are for 2025.[1]

Overview[edit]

The wind, Sun, and biomass are three renewable energy sources

Renewable energy technologies are essential contributors to the energy supply portfolio, as they contribute to world energy security, reduce dependency on fossil fuels, and provide opportunities for mitigating greenhouse gases.[2] The International Energy Agency has defined three generations of renewable energy technologies, reaching back over 100 years:

First-generation technologies are well established. However, second-generation technologies and third-generation technologies depend on further promotion by the public sector.[2] The introduction of mandatory renewable energy targets is one important way in which governments can encourage the wider use of renewables.

Renewable energy targets exist in at least 66 countries around the world, including the 27 European Union countries, 29 U.S. states, and 9 Canadian provinces. Most targets are for shares of electricity production, primary energy, and/or final energy for a future year. Most targets aim for the 2010–2012 timeframe, although an increasing number of targets aim for 2020, and there is now an EU-wide target of 20% of final energy by 2020, and a Chinese target of 15% of primary energy by 2020.[3]

Targets by country[edit]

Australia[edit]

In 2001, the federal government introduced a Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) of 9,500 GWh of new generation, with the scheme running until at least 2020.[4] This represents an increase of new renewable electricity generation of about 4% of Australia's total electricity generation and a doubling of renewable generation from 1997 levels. Australia's renewable energy target does not cover heating or transport energy like Europe's or China's, Australia's target is therefore equivalent of approximately 5% of all energy from renewable sources.

An Expanded Renewable Energy Target was passed on 20 August 2009, to ensure that renewable energy obtains a 20% share of electricity supply in Australia by 2020. To ensure this, the Labor government committed that the MRET will increase from 9,500 gigawatt-hours to 45,000 gigawatt-hours by 2020. The scheme was to continue until 2030.[5] After 2020, the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme and improved efficiencies from innovation and manufacture was expected to allow the MRET to be phased out by 2030.[citation needed] The target was criticised as unambitious and ineffective in reducing Australia's fossil fuel dependency, as it only applied to generated electricity, but not to the 77% of energy production exported, nor to energy sources which are not used for electricity generation, such as the oil used in transportation. Thus 20% renewable energy in electricity generation would represent less than 2% of total energy production in Australia.[6]

In 2011 the 'expanded MRET' was split into two schemes: a Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) of 41,000 GWh for utility-scale renewable generators, and an uncapped Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme for small household and commercial-scale generators. Following the 2014 Warburton Review initiated by the Abbott Government, and subsequent negotiations with the Labor Opposition, in June 2015 the LRET target was reduced to 33,000 GWh.[7][8]

United States[edit]

As of July 2010, 30 US states and DC have established mandatory renewable energy targets, and a further 6 have voluntary targets.[9] The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 has set a target for 36 billion US gallons (140,000,000 m3) of biofuel produced annually by 2022. Of that, 21 billion US gallons (79,000,000 m3) shall be advanced biofuels (derived from feedstock other than corn starch). Of the 21 billion US gallons (79,000,000 m3), 16 billion shall come from cellulosic ethanol. The remaining 5 billion US gallons (19,000,000 m3) shall come from biomass-based diesel and other advanced biofuels.[10] For sources other than biofuels, The United States carries no mandatory renewable energy targets although they do support the growth of renewable energy industries with subsidies, feed-in tariffs, tax exemptions, and other financial support measures.[11]

Renewable energy targets by region[edit]

The European Union (EU) has a renewable energy target of 20% renewables target by 2020.[12] This is followed by a more ambitious target of 32% renewable energy by 2030 (a group of members had hoped for an improved target of 35%).[13]

NAFTA (US, Canada and Mexico) has a 50% renewable energy sources target by 2025 in North America.[14]

Latin America pledged 70% renewable energy by 2030.[15]

The West African States (ECOWAS) aim for 38% renewable energy by 2030 achieved through the creation of 20GW of solar.[16] The African Union also aims for a minimum of 10GW of renewable energy on the continent by 2030.[17]

Table of renewable energy and targets[edit]

Overview[edit]

Region Current Share Target Year Mandatory Notes
World 33.3% global capacity [18] 26% global power generation[19]
EU-25 14% 21% 2020
EU 20% in 2020[12] 17.5% in 2017[20] 32%[13] 35%[21] 2030[13]

European countries[edit]

Country Current Share % Target % Year Mandatory Notes
Austria 33.5%[22] 78 2010
Belgium 16%[23] Belgian energy and climate plan proposes renewables target of 18.3% by 2030.[24] 2010
Czech Republic 14.8%[25] 8.0 2010
Croatia 27.3%[25]
Denmark 35%[26] Denmark, for example, is expected to generate 69% of its energy from renewable sources by 2022,[27] 100 percent renewableenergy in all sectors by 2050[28] 2010
Estonia 30%[29] The share of renewable energy will account for 50% of final consumption of domestic electricity and 80% of the heat generated in Estonia by 2030[30] 2030
Finland 41%[20] Finland will go carbon neutral by 2035[31] 2035
France 23% 40% by 2030[32] 33% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030[33] 2010 Renewables can regularly cover 25% of France's summer electricity needs, grid operator RTE said on Wednesday.[34]
Germany 47%[35] between 40 and 45 per cent of total electricity consumption from renewables in 2025[35] 2025
Greece 16.3%[25] 35% by 2030[36] 2010
Hungary 13.3%[25] 3.6 2010
Ireland 10.7%[25] 70% by 2030[37] 2010
Italy 18.3%[25] 25 2010
Latvia 39%[20] Latvia is proposed to set a 45% RES target for 2030.[29] 2030
Lithuania 27.9%[38] Lithuania's goal to have 38% of all its generation sourced from renewables by 2025.[39] Lithuania aim at having no less than 45% of all energy produced from renewables in 2030 and around 80% in 2050.[40] 2025
Norway 100%
Iceland 100%
Luxembourg 6.4%[20] 5.7 2010
Malta 7.2%[20]
Netherlands 6.6%[20] 9.0 2010
Poland 14%[41] 7.5 2010
Portugal 28.1%[25] 45 2010
Slovakia 11.5%[25] 31 2010
Spain 17.5%[25] In 2018, Spain committed to an ambitious scheme to switch to 100% renewable electricity by 2050.[42] 2010
Sweden 54.5%[20] 100% renewable energy production by 2040.[43]

target of net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045.[43]

2040
United Kingdom 40%[44] 100% renewable energy and zero emissions by 2050[45] 2010
Romania 24.5%[25]
Slovenia 21.5%[25]
Bulgaria 18.7%[25] 27% renewable energy by 2030[46]
Cyprus 9.9%[25]
Switzerland 60%[47] 100% renewable energy by 2050[47]

Other countries[edit]

Country Current Share % Target % Year Mandatory Notes
Argentina 2%[48] to produce 20 percent of Argentina's electricity from renewable sources by 2025[48] 2025
Australia 23.5%[49] 23.5% by 2020[49] predicted to produce 35% by 2021[50] projected to produce 50% renewable energy by 2030[51] 2020
New Zealand 80% 100% by 2035 and zero carbon emissions by 2050[52] 2025
Greenland 70%[53]
Brazil 50%
Canada 59% Carbon neutral by 2050[54] 2050
Chile 90% 20% 2025 yes [55]
China 12%[56] 2015 for 35% renewable energy penetration by 2030[57] 2030
South Africa South Africa 26% renewable energy 2030[58]
Egypt 10% 20% 2020
United States 23%[59] 2020
India 21.4%[60] 40% by 2030 and 500GW by 2030[60] 2030
Indonesia 4% 15% (inc. nuclear) 2025
Israel 0% 5% 2016
Japan 0.4% 1.63% 2014
Korea 6.08% 2020
Malaysia 0% 5% 2005 long-term target to be announced 2011
Mexico 26%[14] 35% by 2024 and 50% by 2050[61] 2024
Morocco 10% 20% 2012
Nigeria 7% 2025
Pakistan 10% 2015
The Philippines 100% increase from 2005 2015
Russia 2.5% 2024
Taiwan 6% 12% 2020
Thailand 7% 20% 2022
Vietnam 5% 2020
UAE 50% by 2050[62]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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