The Rapid Development of Renewable Energy in Europe
Renewable energy sources are a major contributor to the transition of Europe’s energy sector. Development in technologies are key to the acceleration in market share in this sector. Today, shares for solar power photovoltaic (PV) electricity, biogas electricity and wind power are close to the levels anticipated by countries in their national renewable energy action plans (NREAP’s), drafted in 2010.
Interestingly in 2017, renewable energy accounted for an impressive 85% of new EU electricity-generating capacity. More importantly, the EU continued to decommission more capacity from conventional sources than it installed.
Renewable energy sources shares continue to vary widely between countries, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Latvia and Sweden exceeding 30% in final energy consumption, whilst Belgium, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands at just 9% respectively.
Averren Energy operating under China Longyuan Power Group Corp, are providing renewable energy training programmes designed at educating countries that are not fully utilising their RES. Anthony Reed (Head of Finance) explained – ‘whilst growth in the renewable energy across Europe is currently ahead of projected figures, there are still many countries that do not understand both the geographical and fiscal benefits available. Every country has a different geographical demographic, whilst geothermal power may benefit some areas, wind power or solar power will be best suited to others. Our objective is to educate the relevant governing bodies to fully understand global and local environmental benefits combined with the fiscal benefits, we achieve this by providing a 10 year, 15 year and 30 year year renewable energy plan.
Renewables accounted for approximately 70 % of net additions to global power capacity in 2017. Global investments in renewables have shown steady growth for more than a decade. This has led to a more than doubling of global renewable electricity capacity between 2005 and 2017. By 2017, for the third year in a row, more than half of all newly installed power capacity worldwide was of renewable origin, as RES accounted for an estimated 70 % of added net power generation capacity in that year (Frankfurt School-UNEP, 2018; IRENA, 2018b). In 2017, the EU still ranked second after China as regards total installed and grid-connected domestic renewable electricity capacity.
The EU is a global leader in renewable electricity capacity per capita, but fast activity becomes visible outside the EU. With an average renewable electricity capacity of 0.87 kW installed per person in 2017, the EU is the clear world leader on a per capita basis, ahead of the United States, Brazil and China. In absolute terms, in 2017, Europe still had the largest wind capacity in place globally.
However, since 2017, China has displaced the EU as market leader in solar PV capacity and is poised to overtake the EU, in absolute terms, as the world leader in total installed wind energy capacity.