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Wind and water provide most renewable electricity

29/01/2020

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The share of total gross electricity consumption in the European Union (EU) which is generated from renewable sources is increasing steadily year-by-year. In 2018, electricity from renewable sources provided just under one third (32%) of the electricity consumed, slightly up from 31% in 2017.

Wind and hydro power each contributed around one third of the total electricity from renewable sources in 2018, with wind power (36%) edging hydro power (33%) as the most important sources. The remaining one third was generated from solar power (12%), solid biofuels (10%) and other renewable sources (9%).

The growth in electricity generated from renewable energy sources largely reflects an increase in particular of wind power, but also solar power and solid biofuels (including renewable wastes), while the amount of electricity generated from hydro power was relatively similar to the level recorded ten years earlier.

Among Member States, more than half of the electricity consumed in 2018 was generated from renewable sources in Austria (73%), Sweden (66%), Denmark (62%), Latvia (53%) and Portugal (52%). The high shares of renewables in generation of electricity in Austria and Sweden is principally caused by hydro power, which produces more than three quarters (77%) of the electricity consumed in Austria and more than two thirds (69%) in Sweden.

In contrast, less than 10 % of the electricity came from renewable sources in Hungary and Malta (both 8%) and in Cyprus and Luxembourg (both 9%).

Infographic: Share of renewable sources for electrictiy, EU28, 2018; Bar chart: Share of electricty from renewable sources, by EU Member State, 2018

Data source: nrg_ind_ren.

For more information

The share of energy from renewable sources is calculated in a harmonised manner across the EU Member States using the Shares Tool. More information about the Shares Tool, and the “Summary Results Shares 2018” can be found in the Shares dedicated section.

In order to account for annual variations in the weather, electricity generated by hydro power is normalised over the last 15 years and wind power over the last 5 years. Other renewable energy sources used to generate electricity include gaseous and liquid biofuels, renewable municipal waste, geothermal energy, and tidal, wave and ocean power tide.

You can find more statistics on renewable energy in the latest Statistics Explained article on Renewable energy.

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