Renewable energy makes strong progress in the EUMay 21, 2013
Report highlights growth of renewable energy in EU
Renewable energy has been making strong progress in Europe. The European Union has devoted a great deal of support to the expansion of clean energy in several countries, with a strong focus on solar and wind power, as well as natural gas. The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has released a new report concerning the growth of these forms of renewable energy. While the EPIA typically focuses primarily on solar energy, its report also provides some insight on clean power as a whole.
Solar energy capacity soars
In terms of solar energy, the EPIA report shows that solar energy capacity throughout Europe has grown significantly over the past year. Europe remains the dominant force in the solar energy field, with Germany alone accounting for 7.6 gigawatts of new installed capacity in 2012. Asia, as a whole, represented 5 gigawatts of new capacity, with the U.S. and Japan representing 3.3 gigawatts and 2 gigawatts of new capacity respectively. The report notes that the global solar panel market grew by approximately 30 gigawatts in 2012.
Wind energy helps drive away need for coal
Wind energy is also on the rise throughout Europe. Critics of renewable energy have suggested that the rise of solar and wind power would also boost coal capacity, especial
ly as renewables begin to replace nuclear power. The EPIA report shows that this is not the case, particularly where wind energy is involved. Coal is beginning to shrink in countries where wind energy is gaining ground. Those countries with a strong focus on offshore wind energy are beginning to see a considerable drop in coal capacity.
EU resources help boost renewable energy
Europe has become one of the strongest advocates for renewable energy in the world. While the U.S. and China have also emerged as strong supporters, Europe has made the most progress toward energy sustainability and breaking away from fossil-fuels. This is largely due to the collective political and financial strength of the European Union, which has devoted much of its resources to the issues surrounding renewable energy.