March 11, 2010 / 2:21 PM / 10 years ago

EU to exceed 2020 green energy target: forecasts

Environmental activists from Europe and Africa hold a banner urging the EU leaders to pay the European Union's "climate debt" during a protest outside an EU summit in Brussels October 29, 2009. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - New forecasts suggest the European Union will exceed its target of getting 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources in 2020, the European Commission said Thursday.

The latest national projections submitted by governments to the EU executive suggest the 27-nation bloc could reach an overall renewable share of 20.3 percent by the end of the decade.

“These forecasts show that member states take renewable energy very seriously and are really dedicated to pushing their domestic production,” EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said.

Spain and Germany forecast the largest surpluses in 2020, predicting they will exceed their national renewable targets by 2.7 and 0.7 percentage points respectively.

This will help to make up for projected shortfalls in several EU countries, including Italy, which expects to miss its 17 percent target by 1 percentage point.

EU governments that miss their 2020 targets will be forced to buy surplus renewable production from other countries to make up the difference, or could face legal action from the Commission, a spokeswoman for Oettinger said.

Reporting by Charlie Dunmore; Editing by Jon Boyle

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