Electricity produced by renewables, mostly wind and solar, accounted for 64% of the greenhouse gasses (GHG) emissions savings generated in the EU thanks to renewable energy use, a report by The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) shows.
Building on data provided by EU Member States in their 2011 and 2013 progress reports, JRC analyses how fossil energy carriers are displaced by renewable sources in three sectors: electricity, heating/cooling and transport and outlines the framework to quantify the impact of renewable energy deployment on GHG emission.
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% from 2009 to 2012.
The report estimates that in 2012, when total GHG emissions reached the equivalent of 4546 Mt CO₂, the deployment of all renewables in the EU avoided the equivalent of 716 Mt CO₂ emissions. According to the report, the highest contribution by renewables in climate change mitigation in the EU in 2012 came from renewable electricity, which covered 64% of the savings, due to high penetration of wind and solar power, followed by renewable heating and cooling (31%) and renewable transport (5%).
Nearly two thirds of the total savings came thanks to renewable energy development in Germany, Sweden, France, Italy and Spain.
Renewable energy has a large potential in the portfolio of climate change mitigation and its increasing share in gross final energy consumption is a main option for lowering the GHG emissions from the energy system in the European Union, the researches at JRC conclude.
In October 2014, EU leaders agreed on more ambitious goals for 2030 with a domestic emission reduction target of at least 40% below 1990 levels and increase of renewable energy share of at least 27% and an energy efficiency goal of at least 27%.
Choose your newsletter by Renewables Now. Join for free!