86% of new energy in Europe from renewables in 2016

86% of new energy in Europe from renewables in 2016

Nearly 90% of new power across Europe last year came from renewable energy sources, according to the latest data.

New wind, solar, biomass and hydropower projects added 24.54GW of new capacity to the electricity grids across the EU last year, a 6% rise on the total percentage of new energy provided by renewables back in 2014.

In particular, wind energy saw a leap in installation and capacity figures, overtaking coal to become the EU’s second largest form of power capacity, only behind natural gas.

Germany installed the most wind capacity in 2016, while the biggest project was the Gemini windfarm off the Netherlands’ coast, which will become the world’s second largest offshore wind facility when finished this year.

Despite these encouraging statistics Giles Dickson, chief executive of WindEurope, called for European governments to extend their renewable energy policies beyond 2020.

“The installation numbers for now look okay, and the investment number is very good, but on the longer-term outlook, only seven out of the EU’s 28 countries have clear policies and volumes [for wind power] in place for the period beyond 2020,” he said.

“We today see less political and policy ambition for renewables than we did five or even three years ago, across the member states.”

@RGNonline