The EU greenhouse gases (GHG) emission savings due to final renewable energy consumption in electricity, cooling/heating and transport sectors rose at a compound annual growth rate of 8.8 percent from 2009 to 2012, according to a new report of the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC).
Nearly two thirds of the total savings came thanks to renewable energy development in Germany, Sweden, France, Italy and Spain, said the report, confirming renewables’ great potential in climate change mitigation.
The report assessed data on the use of renewable energy, submitted by EU member states every two years, as required by EU legislation on renewable energy.
Thanks to its provisions, renewable energy sources have already provided a strong overall contribution to the reduction of GHG emissions, said the report.
The highest contribution by renewables in climate change mitigation in the EU in 2012 came from renewable electricity, which covered 64 percent of the savings, due to high penetration of wind and solar power, followed by renewable heating and cooling at 31 percent and renewable transport at 5 percent.
In October 2014, EU leaders agreed on more ambitious goals for 2030 with a domestic emission reduction target of at least 40 percent below 1990 levels and increase of renewable energy share of at least 27 percent and an energy efficiency goal of at least 27 percent.