Renewable electricity in Europe: Current state, drivers, and scenarios for 2020

Maija Ruska, Juha Kiviluoma

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    The European Union has the target to increase the share of renewable energy sources (RES) in its gross final consumption of energy to 20% by 2020 (9.2% in 2006). Besides electricity, primary energy consumption includes heating, cooling, and transportation. Increasing RES in transportation is more costly than in electricity generation, and hence the share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation is likely to be significantly higher than 20%. It has been estimated, that the RES share in electricity sector could be around 35% in 2020. A significant part of the new renewable electricity (RES-E) capacity will be wind power and photovoltaics (PV). The output from these is variable, and not dispatchable in the traditional sense. Increasing wind and PV generation presents vast challenges to the power market and electricity grid. The keys to integrate variable generation to the grid are adequately interconnected electricity markets and smarter grids with more flexible demand. Currently, each Member State has a separate support scheme for RES-E. The instruments can be divided between investment support and operating support (price subsidies, green certificates, tender schemes, and tax reductions for the production of electricity). Feed-in tariffs are the most prevalent support mechanism. Largest addition in the NREAPs is expected from wind power generation. Wind power could exceed hydropower generation in 2016-2017. High growth is also expected in solid biomass-based electricity generation and PV. NREAP scenarios were compared against four other sources, which had quite similar expectations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages76
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7712-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Research Notes


    • renewable electricity
    • electricity market
    • energy policy
    • variable generation
    • wind power
    • solar power


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