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09
Mar
2018

Renewable energies have overtaken coal in Europe

For the very first time, 2017 saw renewable energies (wind, solar, biomass and hydropower) generate more electricity than coal in Europe, according to a report by Sandbag and Agora Energiewende*, respectively British and German think tanks. The European Parliament, which is seeking to increase the share of renewables in energy consumption by 2030, has no intention of taking its foot off the accelerator. ENGIE is playing a full part in movement by setting concrete targets with respect to developing renewable energies.

Since 2010, the proportion of electricity generated by wind, solar and biomass has more than doubled in Europe, according to the Sandbag/Agora Energiewende report.

For the first time, renewable energies have overtaken coal in Europe

In 2017, 30% of electricity in Europe was generated by renewable energies, an increase of 12% year on year. *

The United Kingdom and Germany were responsible for more than half of this increase: in Germany, 30% of electricity was produced from wind, solar and biomass energy in 2017, and 28% in the UK. Denmark saw the biggest increase: 74% of electricity produced in 2017 from renewable energy sources, a 7-point rise. Coal-powered generation in Europe fell by 7% in 2017, principally offset by the rise in wind energy*.

The development of these low-carbon energies relies on massive investments: more than 90% of new power generation installations in Europe in 2016 employed renewable energy sources.

The report by the two think tanks also identifies several areas for improvement: in particular, there is scope for development with solar energy, backed by increasingly competitive costs – they have already been divided by a factor of ten in the last ten years.

The report by the two think tanks also identifies several areas for improvement: in particular, there is scope for development with solar energy, backed by increasingly competitive costs – they have already been divided by a factor of ten in the last ten years.

The European Parliament’s proactive target

The European Parliament has adopted a much higher target than the European Commission with regard to renewable energies: 35% of total energy consumption by 2030 (compared to the target of 27% set by the Commission and the Member States). The European Parliament also wants to see a 35% increase in energy efficiency by 2030. These positions will be defended in the coming negotiations on the Clean Energy package.

ENGIE is backing renewable energies

ENGIE is already a leading player in the production of green energies: it is targeting 25% of renewable energies in its production portfolio by 2020. This commitment takes the form of investments in the solar, onshore and offshore wind and hydropower sectors, as well as by a withdrawal from the coal industry: since 2016, the Group has either sold or closed down coal-fired power plants in the United Kingdom, Poland, the United States and Australia.

Source : “The European Power Sector in 2017”, Sandbag/Agora Energiewende, janvier 2018.

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