Renewable electricity is largely generated in hydro power stations, by wind turbines and biomass combustion. Various other technological methods are available for the generation of renewable electricity, e.g. photovoltaic solar energy systems and geothermal energy systems. As yet, these methods play a marginal role in total renewable energy production.
The percentage of renewable electricity is the gross renewable electricity production as part of total electricity consumption. It is laid down in Directive 2001/77/EG, dealing with the promotion of electricity generation from renewable energy sources on the internal electricity market.
The basis for the national figures is the net production of renewable electricity as a percentage of net electricity consumption, complying with the Protocol Renewable Energy (SenterNovem, 2004). According to the international definition, production of renewable electricity is 0.2 percent higher than according to the national definition.
The European directive outlines indicative targets for each member state in 2010. The targets vary for each member state, due to geographical conditions. For the EU-15 as a whole, the target is set at 22 percent, for the Netherlands at 9.0 percent. The following targets are set for the other EU member states: Austria 78.1; Sweden 60.0; Portugal 39.0; Finland 31.5; Spain 29.4; Denmark 29.0; Italy 25.0; France 21.0; Greece 20.1; Ireland 13.2; Germany 12.5; United Kingdom 10.0; Belgium 6.0 and Luxembourg 5.7.