The European Commission, DG XVII, has recently published a report on renewable energy technology from the THERMIE and ALTENER programmes. Included in the report is an overview of the challenges facing the development of renewable energy technologies. The report covers DG XVII's actions for renewables and the achievements the ALTENER and THERMIE programmes have made since 1993, respectively 1994. The main section of the report discusses how to overcome barriers to develop renewables. Examples are given of activities that DG XVII has supported over the past years through THERMIE and ALTENER to help stimulate the development of renewable energy technologies.