A fifth of Europe’s energy mix will come from renewable sources by 2020, following an agreement between EU leaders earlier this week.

The Renewable Energy Directive means that 20% of all EU member states’ energy supplies will come from renewables, with an action plan due to be put in place by June 2010 to track the progress of the directive.

Christian Kjaer, chief executive of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), said: “Today tomorrow changed. The European Parliament and the Council have agreed the world’s most important energy law. Europe has turned away from transferring ever larger amounts of European citizens’ wealth to a handful of fuel-exporting nations, opting instead to put the money to work at home and exploit our abundant domestic renewable energy resources.”

Gouri Kumar, member of business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan's Renewable Energy unit, also commented on the move. Kumar said: "The agreement on the Directive is a well-coordinated as well as a monumental step in reaching the 2020 renewable energy targets, turning policy rhetoric into solid action. It not only lays out the individual legally binding renewable energy targets of the 27 member nations but also addresses important issues plaguing the industry like planning processes and grid access. This is also a huge step in assisting Europe wean off fossil fuel sources and further initiate a growing renewable energy industry. The resolve needs to continue as implementation is key."