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Denmark Leads The Way In Renewable Usage

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German Agora Energiewende & Sandbag Smarter Climate Policy have joined forces again to present The European Power Sector in 2017.

The report considers energy transition in the European power sector using data from the EU's official statistics agency EUROSTAT.

The report found that renewable technologies, covering wind, solar and biomass, have beaten coal generation for the first time in the EU, according to the latest figures for 2017.

Wind generation grew by some massive 58-Terawatt hours, solar grew by 9 Terawatt hours and biomass grew by 5 Terawatt hours. That led to wind, solar and biomass generation surpassing coal generation for the first time.

Wind, solar and biomass has increased in every EU country in the last 7 years. In 2017, Denmark led with the biggest rise and the highest penetration of wind, solar and biomass. The country rose 7 percentage points from 67% to an incredible 74% of total electricity production. Of Denmark's 2017 rise, three quarters was from wind.

Since 2010, the countries with the biggest increase in penetration were Denmark (up 42 percentage points, to 74% in 2017), the UK (+22 to 28%), then Germany (+17 to 30%).

Some of the key findings include:

  1. New renewables generation sharply increased in 2017, with wind, solar and biomass overtaking coal for the first time.
  2. Germany and the UK contributed to 56% of the growth in renewables in the past three years.
  3. Electricity consumption rose by 0.7% in 2017, marking a third consecutive year of increases.
  4. CO2 emissions in the power sector were unchanged in 2017, and rose economy-wide.
  5. Western Europe is phasing out coal, but Eastern Europe is sticking to it.


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