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'.
- Final consumption of renewable energy increased in all Member States in 2013, according to EEA estimates. At EU level, the share of renewables increased to almost 15% by 2013, so the EU was ahead of its 12% target set by the . By 2020, the EU aims to generate at least 20% of its energy using renewable sources, rising to 27% by 2030.
- In Sweden, Latvia, Finland and Austria renewable energy made up more than a third of final energy consumption in 2013. At the other end of the scale, Malta, Luxembourg, Netherlands and the UK were all below 5%.
- The renewable heating and cooling market sector contributed most towards overall renewable energy in the EU in 2013. However, renewable electricity is growing faster. In contrast, the use of renewable energy sources in transport fell in 2013 in about half of the EU Member States and also at EU level.
- Coal, oil, gas and other fossil fuels still make up around three quarters of final energy consumption. Fossil fuels are the main cause of climate change, air pollution and several other environmental pressures.
- For Europe to meet ambitious decarbonisation targets, renewable energy sources are expected to increase to between 55 to 75% of final energy consumption by mid-century, according to the .
- Greenhouse gas trends and projections 2014
- Share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption (ENER 028). Assessment published October 2014
- Renewable energy in gross inland energy consumption (CSI 030/ENER 029). Assessment published December 2014
- Renewable electricity (CSI 031/ENER 030). Assessment published December 2014
- Energy intensity (CSI 028/ENER 017). Assessment published November 2014