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France: the slow take-off of renewable energy

While the carbon market (created to encourage the reduction of CO2 emissions) is stagnant, the share of European renewable energy production (wind, solar, biomass) continues to increase.

In 2011, 13% of energy in Europe is renewable. This follows the fixed European objectives  – by 2020, the share of renewable energy must represent 20% of the total energy production in the European Union.

Each country is more or less advanced in this area. This difference between European countries is due to the individual energy policy for each country. Some have very ambitious national targets to be reached within 7 years; for instance, Estonia has already achieved its goal for 2020. Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland), Spain or even the Czech Republic should also achieve their goals quickly. Germany has tripled its share of renewable energy – which stands at 12.4%, compared to 4% in 2004.

France for its part remains mid-term. It has a target of 23% to reach by 2020 (set by the package European energy-climate of 2008) and renewable energy represents around 13% of its energy mix today. However this growth of renewable energy remains slower than in other European countries.

The launch in April 2013 of the next package of energy and climate change to 2030 plans to gradually increase the share of renewable energy should give a new impulse to this sector. The first debates on the figures and the thresholds to achieve will be discussed for 2014 to be validated by 2015-16.

Words by Diego Courtois
Fonaterra, France

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