Renewable Energy Use up to 13% of Gross Final Energy Use Across EU

Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, has released its figures for renewable energy use across the EU27 – the 27 EU states – for the calendar year 2011. Of all energy use across the EU27, 13% came from renewable sources compared to just 7.9% in 2004 and 12.1% in 2010, well on its way to a target of 20% in 2020.

Looking at the countries individually, the top renewable energy users were Sweden (46.8%), Latvia (33.1%), Finland (31.8%) and Austria (30.9%), and the lowest were the tiny states of Malta (0.4%), Luxembourg (2.9%), followed by the United Kingdom (3.8%), Belgium (4.1%).

Between 2004 and 2011, the countries with the biggest gains in renewables usage were Sweden (38.3% to 46.8%), Denmark (14.9% to 23.1%), Austria (22.8% to 30.9%), and Germany (from 4.8% to 12.3%); while the UK went from 1.1% to 3.8% in the same time period. The EU target for the UK is 15% by 2020.

Click here for full details in the Eurostat 26th April 2013 press release: Share of Renewable Energy up to 13% of Energy Consumption in the EU27 in 2011.

Portugal 70% of Power from Renewables in Q1

The national grid operator in Portugal (Redes Energéticas Nacionais – REN) has announced that in the first quarter of 2013 70% of all power consumed was generated from renewables – a new record.

Surprisingly despite its sunny reputation and Southern European location, Portugal does not generate much electricity from solar PV – in fact just 0.7% of electricity generated in 2012 came from solar PV.

Castelo de Bode dam - Portugal hydro power plant

A huge 37% of Q1 2013 electricity generated in Portugal came from hydroelectric power – including from hydropower plants at Alqueva Dam (Europe’s largest dam) and Castelo de Bode Dam pictured above.

A further 27% of the power generated came from wind turbines, located primarily in the windy north east of Portugal.

Favourable weather conditions made a big contribution to this record, with hydro power generation up over 300% compared to the same period last year, and a 60% increase in wind power generation.

Portugal still have virtually no offshore wind turbines despite having a long windy stretch of Atlantic coastline to exploit, and very little solar PV despite being sun scorched. Therefore, with continued investment there is a great chance of seeing 100% of consumption being met by renewables soon in Portugal.