According to the European statistical office Eurostat, the share of renewable energy sources in the gross final energy consumption in the 27 countries of the EuroPean Union has increased to 12.4 percent in 2010, compared to 11.7 percent in 2009.
Even if the European Union is due to have 20 percent of its total energy consumption coming from renewable energies by 2020, there are many dissimilarities among countries and their respective goals.
Indeed, while countries like Sweden, Latvia or Finland have 47.9%, 32.6% and 32.2% of their total energy consumption coming from renewables (respectively), other countries like the Netherlands, the United Kingdom or Luxembourg see their share of renewables below four percent (with 3.8 %, 3.2 % and 2.8 % respectively).
It is interesting to note that between 2006 and 2010 all countries have seen their share of solar, wind, and so on increase.
The largest increases were recorded in Estonia (from 16.1% to 24.3%), Romania (from 17.1% to 23.4%), Denmark (from 16.5% to 22.2%), Sweden (from 42.7% to 47.9%) and Spain (from 9.0% to 13.8%).
Earlier this month I was stating here that some EU countries could pay back their debts with renewables. Such a simple plan could literally add gigawatts of capacity to the grids of Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal.
The other benefit of this would that the European Union could achieve its not-so-ambitious goals more easily. Indeed, a continuation of this slow trend wouldn’t allow the EU to reach a share of a fifth of renewables by 2020…