A Think Progress article by Stephen Lacey, asked whether the European sovereign debt crisis derailed renewable energy in 2011. Even though financial difficulties have caused a few countries to reduce their support, Lacey concludes that “2011 was still a huge year for deployment — with wind and solar alone representing almost 70% of new capacity.”
According to a report from the European Wind Energy Association, Renewable energy has increased more than ten times in the last eleven years. In 2000 there was only 3.5 GW of installed renewable energy in Europe, in 2011 that number had grown to 32 GW (mostly wind and solar).
The growth of renewable energy in Europe has already outpaced forecasts in many countries. The EU currently has a target of 20 percent of its final energy (heat, electricity and fuels) from renewable energy. Numerous countries have already surpassed their targets in the electricity and heating sectors, and it’s likely that the entire region will move past the goal well ahead of schedule.
It’s expected that renewable electricity sources will meet 34 percent of demand in Europe by 2020, with 25 of 27 countries to surpass their targets beforehand.
In 2011, solar PV accounted for 26.7% of capacity additions, wind power accounted for 21.4% of additions, and natural gas made up 22% of installations. Below that was coal at 4.8%, fuel oil at 1.6%, large hydro at 1.3%, and concentrating solar power at 1.1% of capacity.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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