31.08.2017 07:56 Age: 235 days

Latest Barometers Released


The State of Renewable Energies in Europe in 2016

The EurObserv’ER barometer measures the progress made by renewable energies in each sector and in each Member State of the European Union. The 16th EurObserv’ER report was published in 2017.  It offers the readers a comprehensive energy dimension review of the twelve renewable sectors that are now developed in the European Union on an industrial scale.

The main objectives of the barometers are the monitoring and analyzing of the development of renewable energy sectors in the EU, evaluating the RES progress compared to the 2020 targets of the European Commission.

The state of renewable energies report includes the traditional sections devoted to energy indicators as well as the socioeconomic aspects and investments in the sector, namely:

  • an appraisal of the penetration rates of renewable energy equipment for heating and cooling and urban infrastructures;
  • an overview of the main renewable sector costs and their levels of competitiveness in comparison with the fossil fuel sectors;
  • an assessment of the impact of the development of renewables on reducing fossil energy consumption within the European Union and the expenses thereby averted;
  • a section on innovation and competitiveness indicators arising from R&D efforts in renewable technologies; and
  • indicators on how flexible European electricity systems are to integrating renewable capacities.

The 16th EurObserv’ER report is available here: https://www.eurobserv-er.org/category/all-annual-overview-barometers/

Photovoltaic Barometer

The barometer on solar photovoltaic was released in April 2017. The global photovoltaic market growth has reached its peak in 2016; the on-grid capacity exceeded 76 GW, which amounts to 50% growth over 2015. The growth is influenced by two factors: by the drastic payment cuts on the solar power payments in the lead markets and by the overcapacity of the Chinese panel manufacturing industry.

Current developments in support measures are geared towards market mechanisms that affect the volume of connections with the consumers. The tendering systems and high-capacity facilities give the Member States more control over their markets by curbing electricity price increases for consumers, and by preparing the ground for the next installation wave, in order to achieve their Renewable Energy Directive targets.

The photovoltaic sector is currently adjusting to a new market structure, where prosumers will play an increasingly important role. It is in the interest of consumers to produce their own electricity and feed their surplus into the grid. The Commission encourages the implementation of an enabling framework, which was set by the Clean Energy Package, on 30 November 2016. 

For more information please follow the following link: https://www.eurobserv-er.org/photovoltaic-barometer-2017/

Solar Thermal and Concentrated Solar Power

The barometer on solar thermal and concentrated solar power (CSP) was released in June 2017. Based on the assessment, the European solar thermal market is still losing pace. According to preliminary estimations, the solar thermal segment dedicated to heat production contracted by a further 4.6% in 2016 down to 2.6 million m2.

The global concentrated solar power market has slowed down after the installation peak of 2013. The decrease is a result of the competition coming from PV, supported by countries looking to make fast improvements to their efficiency levels while reducing costs. The European concentrated solar power market sector is no longer moving forward. The European Union’s CSP capacity meter has been stuck at 2313.7 MW since 2014, while Eurostat’s official survey of installed CSP capacity has been stable since 2013 at 2302 MW. Currently, Spain is the only European Union country to have developed a commercially viable concentrated solar power sector.

To read more about solar thermal and concentrated solar power, please follow the following link: https://www.eurobserv-er.org/solar-thermal-and-concentrated-solar-power-barometer-2017-2/

Biofuels Barometer

The latest barometer on biofuels was published in July 2017. According to the released statistics, the consumption for transport increased slightly in 2016, which was driven by biodiesel consumption (which rose 2.4% to 11.6 Mtoe). On the other hand, bioethanol consumption decreased slightly by 3.1% to 2.6 Mtoe.

Because of the size of the European Union`s diesel vehicle fleet, the distribution of different types of biofuels are dominated by the biodiesel sector. The division of biofuel sources for 2016 is as follows:

  • biodiesel: 80.6% (79.8% in 2015), i.e. 11 603 ktoe (the pure vegetable oil consumption is also included in this figure)
  • bioethanol: 18.4% (19.2% in 2015) i.e. 2 646 ktoe (directly blended with petrol or converted beforehand into ETBE)
  • biogas: 1% (1% in 2015) i.e. 138 ktoe

Based on the calculation of the EurObserv´ER, the effective (conventional and advanced) biofuel incorporation rate should be about 8% by the 2020 timeline. This share would take biofuel consumption to roughly 20 Mtoe for the European Union of 27 (if the United Kingdom leaves the Union). The new draft Directive proposed by the European Commission offers a greater discretion over the way that Member States will meet their national targets. The draft text removes the renewable energy target for transport and leaves countries free to choose the proportion devoted to transport, producing renewable electricity and heat. A common EU target aims to reach at least 27% renewable energy share of the total energy consumption by 2030.

The EurObserv’ER biofuels barometer is available here: https://www.eurobserv-er.org/biofuels-barometer-2017/