Renewable electricity consumption (CSI 031/ENER 030) - Assessment published Aug 2011
Energy (Primary topic)
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
- CSI 031
- ENER 030
Key policy question: How fast the share of renewable electricity in total gross electricity consumption is increasing in Europe?
Average annual growth rates of renewable energy in electricity consumption (EU-27) for 1990-2008 and 2007-2008
Note: Average annual growth rates of renewable energy in electricity consumption (EU-27) for 1990-2008 and 2007-2008. The highest growth rates in renewable electricity production in 2007-2008 were observed for photovoltaic (97%/year), wind (13 %/year) and biomass (7 %/year)
Eurostat. Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption - electricity - annual data. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database
Renewable electricity as a percentage of gross electricity consumption, 2008
Note: Renewable electricity as a percentage of gross electricity consumption, 2008. The renewable electricity directive (2001/77/EC) defines renewable electricity as the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in total electricity consumption. The latter includes imports and exports of electricity. The electricity generated from pumping in hydropower plants is included in total electricity consumption but it is not included as a renewable source of energy. Large hydropower plants have a capacity of more than 10 MW.
Eurostat. Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption - all products - annual data. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database
Eurostat. Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption - renewables and wastes (total, solar heat, biomass, geothermal, wastes) - annual data. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database
Eurostat. Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption - renewables (hydro, wind, photovoltaic) - annual data. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database
Since 1999, renewables increased their contribution to meeting the electricity consumption in EU-27. The share in gross electricity consumption in 2007 was 16.7 % compared to 11.9 % in 1990 (see Table 1). Renewable electricity production grew by 81 % or 3.3%/year between 1990 and 2008 (see also ENER027) - faster than the growth in overall electricity consumption (a 33 % increase over the same period, see also ENER018). On average, the share of large hydro in gross electricity consumption has declined since 2002, mainly as a result of lower rainfall and the rapid penetration of wind. Nevertheless, hydropower still dominates renewable electricity production in most Member States with an approximate share of 58 % across the EU-27 in 2008, compared to 21% for wind, 19 % for biomass and waste, and the remainder from solar PV (1.3 %) and geothermal (1 %). The highest growth rates in renewable electricity production in 2007-2008 were observed for photovoltaic (97%/year), wind (13 %/year) and biomass (7 %/year) (see Figure 1).
There are significant differences in the share of renewables in electricity consumption between the EU-27 Member States. These reflect differences in the availability of natural resources in each country, as well as the policies chosen to support the development of renewable energy. Amongst the EU-27, Austria (62 %), Sweden (55.5 %) and Latvia (41%) had the greatest shares of renewable electricity in gross electricity consumption in 2008; if large hydropower is excluded. Denmark shows the largest share of non hydro renewable electricity (about 29 %), followed by Austria and Portugal with 16%, and Finland and Spain with 14%. The non-EU EEA countries Norway and Iceland both have about a 100 % share of renewable electricity due to a large contribution of hydropower and also geothermal for Iceland.
 In Finland and Austria, the dominant source of non hydro electricity is biomass, whereas in Spain and Portugal this is wind. In Denmark it is more balanced.
Renewable electricity consumption (IEA)
provided by International Energy Agency (IEA)
provided by US Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Energy statistics (Eurostat)
provided by Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoMihai Florin Tomescu
EEA Management Plan2010 2.8.1 (note: EEA internal system)
Frequency of updates
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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