The doubling of Europe’s renewable energy capacity

Filed under : Environment

The EU proclaimed that by the year 2020 it will have 20% of its energy requirements provided for by renewable resources, and though this seems like a bold claim, the continent is right on track. The EU has managed to double it’s percentage of renewable energy over the last ten years from 1999 to 2009, yielding an increase from 5.4% of energy requirements, to 9%; if this carries on, they will meet their target. There are some countries that seem to be putting in most of the effort, though.

The biggest increase came from Denmark whose percentage of renewable energy shot up from 8% to 17%. Sweden’s increase was equally as impressive, moving from 27% to 34%, and Germany took theirs from 2% to 8% which amounts to a four fold increase. Germany’s electricity is now 16.9% produced from renewable sources, which is another case of increasing by four times.

The UK has been trailing behind on this front, however. Starting at the beginning of the period at a pathetic 0.9% they have only managed to bring it up to 3% which is not a good sign if they are taking seriously their pledge to have 15% of their energy demands met by renewables in 2020. Malta, however, produced the worst results, not increasing their percentage of renewables at all, though they were the only country to produce this poor result.

A truly optimistic figure was published by the Spanish Wind Energy Association which claimed that wind energy produced the most electricity it has ever produced in the space of a month, and that also it was the largest producer of energy in Spain than any other technology, even beating nuclear. This comes as a welcome statistic for those trying to show that wind energy is a viable alternative.

Regardless of which countries did what, there is an overall positive to take from this. It is not only an encouraging example of nation states working together for a common goal, but also presents a glimmer of hope that the worst of global warming’s effects may be avoided.

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