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Hungary ahead of 2020 renewables target, but ratio slips

Hungary is one of eleven members of the EU already to have reached their national targets for the ratio of renewables within gross final consumption of energy by 2020, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. However, the ratio of renewables in Hungarian energy consumption has been declining since 2013.

The share of energy from renewable sources in Hungaryʼs consumption stood at 14.2% in 2016, up from 4.4% in 2004, compared to the countryʼs national target of 13% by 2020.

However, although Hungary already reached its 2020 target in 2011, economic news portal notes that the ratio of renewables has been gradually declining, from 16.2% in 2013, to 14.6% in 2014, to 14.4% in 2015.

In the European Union as a whole, the ratio of renewable energy in consumption reached 17% in 2016 (up from just 8.5% in 2004), compared to the overall target of 20% by 2020.

The Europe 2020 strategy sets three objectives for climate and energy policy - also known as the "20-20-20" targets - to be reached by 2020, namely:

- Reducing greenhouse emissions by at least 20% compared with 1990 levels;

- Increasing the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption to 20%; and

- Moving towards a 20% increase in energy efficiency.

Individual countriesʼ undertakings regarding renewables vary greatly, stresses. While in Latvia, for example, the 37.2% ratio of renewables still falls short of the countryʼs ambitious 40% target, Hungary was able to reach its comparatively unambitious 13% target years ago. Of EU states, only Luxembourg (11%) and Malta (10%) set themselves lower targets, the news portal emphasizes.

The statistics also do not specify the types of renewable energy each country has relied upon to attain its targets, stresses.  In Hungaryʼs case, it adds, it should be noted that as much as 80-90% of total renewable energy use is attributable to biomass, an energy source about which debate has recently raged concerning its true "clean" credentials.