The newest eurostat report on energy production and usage in Europe shows that renewable energy production increased 8.3% and coal consumption dropped 16.3% last year. In total, renewable energy accounted for 18.4% of energy production and coal accounted for 9.6%.
As I reported earlier this year, the European Union (EU) is expected to exceed its target of producing 20% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2020. These figures are a clear sign that they are on that path.
As I mentioned before as well, not all countries are the same (just as not all U.S. states are the same) in their renewable energy growth. Michael Graham Richard of TreeHugger points out: “Portugal, for example, has been expanding its renewable energy production capabilities very rapidly, going from 17% to 45% in 5 years, while Germany seems to be going in two directions at once, adding lots of solar and wind, but also relying heavily on coal, and Poland is still heavily dependent on coal.”
In addition to total renewable energy production and coal consumption, here are some other interesting stats from the report:
- energy dependency fell 5.7%
- gross inland consumption fell 5.5%
- energy intensity (that is, the amount of energy used divided by GDP) dropped for the sixth consecutive year (graph below)
Energy intensity is an interesting factor. As the report says, “decoupling of increasing economic activity from increasing energy consumption is a goal for sustainable development.” Europe seems to be doing quite well on this front.
Another thing I found interesting was how much more the % of gross inland oil consumption (below) diverted from gross inland oil production (in graph at the top). Of course, we know that Europe and the US rely heavily on oil from foreign nations, but interesting to see stats related to that.
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