Feb 28 (Renewables Now) - Demand for renewable electricity, documented with Guarantees of Origin (GOs) in Europe, has continued to grow in 2016, rising by 5% over 2015 to almost 370 TWh, Tom Lindberg said today in commentary on figures from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB).
Lindberg is managing director of ECOHZ, a provider of renewable energy solutions.
"Behind this growth are thousands of businesses and millions of households in numerous European countries purchasing renewable electricity documented with Guarantees of Origin," he said, adding that much of the demand is driven by an increased sense of urgency among leading international businesses to help fight climate change.
According to the statement, wind and solar are starting to challenge hydropower, with the supply of documented solar power growing 300% last year to 6.3 TWh and of wind by 50% to 63.6 TWh. Hydropower still accounts for 75% of the market, but growth has slowed, said Lindberg.
Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Holland remain the largest markets for renewable purchases in Europe. While growth in Germany, the biggest market, has stalled with volumes expected to be flat on 2015 at 85 TWh-87 TWh, Holland continues to grow at a faster pace than the rest and reached almost 50 TWh in 2016.
"Although the UK is now the only remaining large renewable producer not actively participating in the European market, its new renewable energy policy frameworks allow for imports of certain European EECS GO for domestic use. This has contributed to the overall demand growth in 2016, and shows the importance of having the UK as a full AIB member," said Lindberg.
The AIB data includes only GOs based on the EECS (European Energy Certificate System) standard. According to the announcement, European markets that are not yet part of the pan-European market total more than 200 TWh of purchased renewable power, meaning that the actual market volume for 2016 approaches 600 TWh, which is 50% of all renewable power produced in Europe.
ECOHZ cautioned that the statistics are not fully complete at this point.