EEA publishes study finding multiple benefits of switch to renewable electricity

26 January 2021

Article: 55/0405

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a study on the increased use of renewable electricity across the EU. The report found that, by 2018, the growth in electricity from renewable sources, such as solar photovoltaic (PV), wind and biomass, had significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The data presented shows that the EU-wide share of renewable energy in 2019 was less than half a percentage point lower than the binding 20% target for 2020. At 34% of all electricity generated, renewable electricity has almost doubled since 2005, and coal no longer supplies most of the EU’s electricity.

The EEA report that fossil fuels still account for 38% of all electricity generated in the EU in 2019, and is responsible for almost a quarter of all EU greenhouse gas emissions, while remaining an important source of acidification, eutrophication, and ground-level ozone formation. Fully implementing national climate and energy plans for 2030 would allow the EU to overachieve its current climate and renewable energy targets. However, the report finds such progress would still be insufficient in meeting a higher target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, or achieving climate neutrality by 2050, with renewable power having to grow to over 80% by 2050 in order to meet these pledges.

Source: EEA, 18 January 2021