Renewable energy share in Europe doubles

Renewable power doubled its share in Europe’s energy mix in just one decade, new figures released for the European Union’s Sustainable Energy Week show.

In 1999, renewable sources provided five percent of total inland gross energy consumption. By 2009 this figure had risen to nine per cent, although the figure remains far below that for other energy sources.

The figures show Latvia is leading the way with renewable energy, using it to meet 36 percent of its total energy supply, followed by Sweden (34 percent), Austria (27 percent) and Finland (23 percent).

Renewable power made up just 0.9 percent of gross inland energy consumption in 1999 in Britain, rising to three percent by 2009, according to Eurostat, the statistical arm of the European Commission.

The UK was named among the countries relying most heavily on gas, accounting for 38 percent of supply, placing it joint second with Italy and behind the Netherlands.

Across Europe as a whole, oil remained the main source of energy, accounting for 37 percent of consumption.

The UK is aiming to generate 15 percent of power from renewable sources by 2020, however, under the government’s Renewable Energy Strategy lead scenario this figure could increase to 30 percent.

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