For the second year running, wind energy accounted for the largest share of new electricity generation capacity© berent (Jesper Baerentzen) - stock.xchng
Share of renewables in new electricity generation capacity continues to rise
The "Renewable Energy Snapshots" report, published today by the JRC's Institute for Energy (IE), shows that renewable energy sources accounted for 62% (17GW) of the new electricity generation capacity installed in the EU27 in 2009. The share rose from 57% in 2008. For the second year running, wind energy accounted for the largest share of the new capacity: 10.2 GW out of the 27.5 GW built, representing 38% of the total. In absolute terms, renewables produced 19.9% of Europe's electricity consumption last year.
If current growth rates are maintained, in 2020 up to 1400 TWh of electricity could be generated from renewable sources, the report concludes. This would account for approximately 35-40% of overall electricity consumption in the EU, depending on the success of community policies on electricity efficiency, and would contribute significantly to the fulfilment of the 20% target for energy generation from renewables.
However, it also advises that some issues need to be resolved if the targets are to be met. Particular areas of focus include ensuring fair access to grids, substantial public R&D support, and the adaptation of current electricity systems to accommodate renewable electricity. The study highlights that cost reduction and accelerated implementation will depend on the production volume and not on time.
The JRC has produced the annual Renewable Energy Snapshots since 2007 to give an up-to-date picture of the EU’s progress towards the binding target of 20% for energy generation from renewable sources by 2020.