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is fulfilled by means of simple forms of agriculture, which is indeed a procedure ofacquiringsolar energy (Droege, 2011). Firewood is used to store solar energy or other biomassenergyhelps in fulfilling other basic needs for cooking and heating at home (Droege, 2011).With the development of economies and with their complex demand, energy needs enhancegreatly. In the history, as firewood and other biomass energy supplies established inadequateto provide support to growing countries, especially in Europe and the United States, peopleshifted their mind to hydropower (also a form of stored solar energy), then to coal in the midof 19thcentury (Parikka, 2004), and after that to oil and natural gas sources when the 20thcentury started. In the mid of 20th century, nuclear power was introduced into the energy mix(Hekkert et al., 2005).All the economic development phases have been came with by a characteristic energytransition from one major fuel source to another. At present, natural gas, oil, fossil fuels and
21coal, are far the leading source of energy in industrial countries and the major source ofenergy production growth in the developing world (see Figure 2) (Iea.org, 2016).Figure 2: Global Energy ConsumptionSource: (Iea.org, 2016)However, the 21stcentury is already observing the start of the next grand transition in avariety of energy sources, away from fossil fuels towards the sources of renewable energy.This was the great transition which is encouraged by a variety of factors, such as issuesrelated to negative environmental impacts, limits on supplies of fossil fuel, as well as itscosts, and technology-based changes and developments (Turkenburg et al., 2000; Smil,2006).There are many reasons why renewable energy sources are important and essential. First ofall, if we do not develop their use, the reserves of fossil fuels will be exhausted, since they arenot renewable (Smil, 2006). These same non-renewable energy sources are responsible forthe greenhouse effect that causes global warming that threatens our planet and futuregenerations (Smil, 2006). Let us not forget that oil and gas are, in most cases, productsimported by the European Union (Johansson and Turkenburg, 2004). By increasing the use ofrenewable energy sources, we are also increasing the security of the EU's energy supply.Finally, hundreds of thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector have been created,which reduced unemployment, especially among young people (Smil, 2006).
222.5.The Current SituationIn 2009, renewable energies (traditional biomass, hydropower, solar, wind, and geothermal,modern biomass and bio fuels) contributed 16% of the final energy consumed worldwide,whether it is Asia, Europe or Africa (Bogdanov and Breyer, 2016). In 2010, in the 27 EUMember States, the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption wasestimated at 12.4%, compared with 11.7% in 2009 and 10.5% in 2008 (Hoefnagels et al.,2014; Bogdanov and Breyer, 2016). The EU should meet the target of 20% of total REconsumption by 2020.