Increasing Share of Renewable Energy in Europe’s Electricity System

Germany raised the combined share of renewable energy in the electricity, transport and heating sectors to 15.2 percent in the first six months of 2017, according to the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE). During the same period in the previous year, that number was 14.8 percent. The Renewable Energy Act (EEG) is the driver behind the steadily growth of proportion of power produced by renewable sources in Germany over the last several years.

For the electricity sector alone, 35 percent of Germany‘s energy needs were produced from renewables in the first half of 2017, an increase of 2 percent from last year’s numbers. To compare, renewable energy was the source of only 15 percent of the United States’ total electricity consumption in 2016.

Although the share of energy generated from renewable sources increases, Germany is not among the best performers in this field. Here you can find a map that shows in real-time where your electricity comes from and how much CO2 emissions were produced as a result.

Overall, the European Union is expected to fulfil at least 20 percent of its total energy needs with renewable sources by 2020, and has set a target of 80 percent renewables for gross power consumption by 2050. Previously this year, it was also announced that no new coal-fired plants will be built in the EU after 2020. A coalition of energy companies from all EU countries (except Poland and Greece) signed on the initiative, in an effort to meet goals set by the Paris climate agreement.

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