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The EEA report ‘Renewable energy in Europe 2017: recent growth and knock-on effects"

Renewables assuming greater role in the EU energy mix, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The EEA report ‘Renewable energy in Europe 2017: recent growth and knock-on effects,’ shows that renewables have become a major contributor to the energy transition occurring in many parts of Europe. Growth in renewables continues to bolster climate change mitigation in the EU.

Wind, solar and other renewable energy sources are steadily increasing their share in energy consumption across the European Union, further reducing the need for CO2-emitting fossil fuel energy, according to a report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today. This trend is driving down greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, buildings’ heating and cooling, and transport.

The EEA report ‘Renewable energy in Europe 2017: recent growth and knock-on effects,’ shows that renewables have become a major contributor to the energy transition occurring in many parts of Europe. Growth in renewables continues to bolster climate change mitigation in the EU.

The EU-wide share of renewable energy use increased from 15% in 2013 to 16% in 2014. This upward trend continued also in 2015, as renewable energy accounted for the majority (77%) of new electricity-generating capacity for the eighth year in a row. Recent data from Eurostat showed that the EU-wide renewable energy use finally reached 16.7% in 2015 – which is close to the EEA’s 16.4% preliminary estimate published in December 2016. This steady EU-wide progress in renewables since 2005 enables the EU to stay well on course to reach its target of 20 % by 2020.

At Member State level, the shares of renewable energy use continues to vary widely, ranging from over 30% in Finland, Latvia and Sweden, to 5% or less in Luxembourg and Malta.