The directive, which took effect in October 2001, sets national indicative targets for renewable energy production from individual member states. As the name implies, the EU does not strictly enforce these targets. However, The European Commission monitors the Member States' progress – and will, if necessary, propose mandatory targets for those who miss their goals.
These objectives contribute toward achieving the overall indicative EU targets, which are listed in the white paper on renewable sources of energy. Regulators want a 12 percent share of gross renewable domestic energy consumption by 2010 – and a 20 percent share by 2020.
The following table lists the indicative targets for each of the 15 original member states, and for comparison the share of renewable electricity in 1997 as well.