Record Levels For European Renewable Electricity Demand

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Renewable electricity demand in Europe was up 8% in 2015, according to new figures published this week.

Figures published by the Association of Issuing Bodies, whose mission is to develop, use, and promote the European Energy Certificate System, showed that renewable electricity growth increased 8% from 2014 to 2015, surpassing 340 TWh. Tom Lindberg, Managing Director of renewable energy solutions provider ECOHZ, praised the “thousands of businesses and millions of households in numerous European countries” who have been “voluntarily purchasing renewable electricity.”

Voluntarily purchasing renewable electricity in Europe is made easier thanks to Guarantees of Origin (GO), a uniquely European legislated instrument labeling electricity from renewable sources to provide consumers with information on the source of their electricity.

As such, the current European demand for renewable electricity as documented by Guarantees of Origin now represents more than 13% of all electricity consumption in Europe, and around 40% of all electricity generated from renewable electricity sources in Europe.

As Tom Lindberg explains in his commentary on the recently published figures, the European market is still dominated by a select number of countries — namely, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Italy, which together demand three-quarters of the renewable electricity used throughout Europe. Of these five, the Netherlands is the fastest growing market, with its demand for renewable electricity growing by 12% between 2014 to 2015, and the country consuming more than 42.5 TWh in 2015. Germany remains the largest market, with a total volume of 87 TWh in 2015.

ECOHZ-1Norway, Australia, Finland, Denmark, France, and Belgium make up the next group of countries, each with a steady demand for renewable electricity of between 10 to 35 TWh annually. This demand is determined through the marketplace for Guarantees of Origin, which according to Lindberg is steadily growing in terms of countries, with more than 20 countries currently actively working with the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) and fully using the European Energy Certificate System (EECS).

Beyond these named countries, the remaining European Union countries’ demand for GOs is still relatively new.

Interestingly, the UK, Spain, and a few smaller countries throughout Europe are not yet a part of the AIB, but are currently considering joining and adopting the EECS standard.

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Joshua S Hill

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