The UK, France and Netherlands are set to miss a key EU renewable energy target and should review their policies to get back on track, the European commission has said.

A progress report for all 28 member states, published on Tuesday, said that those three countries plus Malta and Luxembourg should “assess whether their policies and tools are sufficient and effective” to meet the target.

Adopted in 2009, the binding target requires the EU to source 20% of energy from renewables such as wind, solar and biomass by 2020.

An EU source said: “There are still five years to go [to meet the target], there is still time. We are not saying they [those countries lagging now] are going to fail. We are saying look into your policies and adjust them.”

However, most countries are on track to hit their contribution to the renewable energy target, with Sweden, Denmark and Estonia set to considerably exceed it, the report suggested.

The UK’s share of energy from renewable sources – which includes heating as well as electricity – was 5.1% for 2013. Britain must source 15% of energy from renewables by 2020.

A spokesman for the European Wind Energy Association said: “It’s encouraging to see that the EU as a whole is on track to meet the 2020 target. Member states have shown ambition to meet this objective but it’s clear that some countries need to pick up the pace, notably the UK, Netherlands and France.”

The commission’s report found that the EU as a whole sourced 15.3% of its energy from renewables in 2013, leading it to say that the bloc is on track to hit its 20% by 2020 target.

Miguel Arias Cañete, the EU climate commissioner, said: “The report shows once again that Europe is good at renewables, and that renewables are good for Europe. We have three times more renewable power per capita in Europe than anywhere else in the rest of the world.”

The new Conservative government in the UK has made it clear it intends to put a halt to the development of more windfarms on land, which are widely-seen seen as the cheapest form of renewable energy. As well as making it easier for local communities to block onshore windfarms, energy secretary Amber Rudd is reportedly looking to end subsidies for them a year earlier than expected too.

A report published on Monday by Keep on Track, a partnership of renewable energy trade bodies from 11 European countries, concluded that the UK was underachieving on renewable energy, due in part to “a number of major regulatory and administrative barriers”.

Adam Vaughan

This article first appeared on the Guardian website

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