Several EU states eye statistical transfers of renewable energy

27 June 2017 05:35 Source:ICIS

Several countries that are set to exceed their 2020 renewable energy targets would consider selling power, in statistical terms, to those that are behind on their targets, ICIS understands.

According to most recent data from Eurostat, 11 member states: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania and Sweden, are already exceeding their binding 2020 renewable target.

There are also five countries: France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the UK, that are six or more percentage points away from their target.

Under the EU’s renewable energy directive, countries that are struggling to reach their target can arrange statistical transfers, whereby one county sells a specified amount of energy from renewable sources to another. The transaction is only in statistical terms, with the volume of energy taken from one country’s calculations of renewables in final energy consumption and added to the other’s.

The system provides an incentive for countries that are exceeding their 2020 targets to continue expanding renewable capacity with the aim of selling the additional output.

It also potentially enables countries falling behind on the targets to avoid handing out large sums in subsidies to try to bring on more renewable capacity by 2020.


A spokesman from the Bulgarian energy ministry said if the country achieves its national renewables plan, it will have 3.96TWh of output that can be sold via statistical transfer.

This was echoed by a spokesman from the Lithuanian energy ministry, who said that if the country reached its own target, the potential for statistical transfer would be 3.5TWh in 2020.

A spokeswoman from the Swedish ministry of the environment and energy also said the country was “open to dialogue” with other countries to arrange statistical transfer.

In terms of countries that are behind on their binding targets and could benefit from buying renewable power via statistical transfer, only a spokesman from Ireland’s energy department was willing to admit the country might consider this route.

However, purchasing statistical transfer would “depend on a number of factors, particularly available supply and market costs”, he said.

A spokeswoman from the Dutch economics ministry said that it is not considering arranging statistical transfers as they are confident of reaching their 2020 target, although this seems highly unlikely according to recent ICIS analysis ( click here to read story ).

A spokeswoman from the UK’s energy department said that “there are a range of options available for meeting the target”, but declined to comment specifically on the potential for statistical transfer.

By Matthew Jones