Feb. 17, 2015—Wind, solar, biomass and other renewable energy technologies continued to grow in 2013. New data shows they have been an important driving force in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Europe.
Without the deployment of renewable energy since 2005, greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 could have been 7% higher than actual emissions, according to the EEA report ‘Renewable energy in Europe – approximated recent growth and knock-on effects’.
Renewable technologies also increase energy security, the report found. Without the additional use of renewable energy since 2005, the EU’s consumption of fossil fuels would have been about 7% higher in 2012. The most substituted fuel was coal, where consumption would have been 13% higher, while natural gas use would have been 7% higher, at a time when European gas reserves are dwindling.
Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director, said: “Renewable energy is quickly becoming one of Europe’s great success stories. We can go even further: if we support innovation in this area it could become a major motor of Europe’s economy, bringing down emissions while creating jobs.”
Renewable energy has not been the only factor reducing Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions. Policies and measures designed to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and stimulate the deployment of renewable energy have all played a role. There were also other drivers for this reduction, including changing economic factors and shifts to less-polluting types of fuels.