Renewables such as wind, solar and biomass played an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Europe in the past years. Continued innovation in this area could even become a major motor of Europe’s economy.
Without the deployment of renewably energy in 2005, greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 could have been up to 7 per cent higher than actual emissions, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The EU’s consumption of fossil fuels would have also been up to 7 per cent higher in 2012 without the additional use of renewable energy, leading the EEA to conclude that renewable technologies increase energy security. Coal was the fuel most substituted by renewable energy.
Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director, called the trend towards renewable energy one of Europe’s great success stories, adding: “We can even go further: if we support innovation in this area it could become a major motor of Europe’s economy, bringing down emissions while creating jobs,” he added.
At the EU level, the share of renewables increased to almost 15 per cent by 2013. By 2020, the EU aims to generate at least 20 per cent of its energy using renewable sources, rising to 27 per cent by 2030.
Other factors contributed to the drop in Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, including policies to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency, as well as a move towards using less-polluting types of fuels.