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(SeeNews) - Mar 11, 2014 - Renewables were responsible for 14.1% of the gross final power consumption in the European Union (EU) in 2012, as compared to 8.3% in 2004, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said Monday.
According to the data, Sweden, Denmark and Austria were the three countries which witnessed the largest growth in the share of renewables between 2004 and 2012. Sweden, which in 2004 derived 38.7% of its power from renewables, lifted that to 51% in 2012. In Denmark, the share of renewables rose from 14.5% to 26%, while in Austria it jumped from 22.7% to 32.1%.
The countries that achieved the highest shares of renewable energy in 2012 power consumption are Sweden with 51%, Latvia with 35.8%, Finland with 34.3% and Austria with 32.1%. In 2012, France sourced 13.4% of its power from renewables, while the share in Germany stood at 12.4%. The lowest shares were recorded in Malta -- 1.4%, Luxembourg -- 3.1%, and the UK -- 4.2%.
The European Union aims to source from renewables 20% of its power by 2020. Each member state has individual targets and Bulgaria, Estonia and Sweden have already achieved and even surpassed them. These three countries had 2020 goals of 16%, 25% and 49%, respectively. At the end of 2012 they had achieved respective renewable energy shares of 16.3%, 25.2% and 51%.
Now, the EU is discussing the bloc's 2030 climate change goals and the topic is quite hot. The European Parliament in February showed its strong support for a 2030 renewable energy goal of no less than 30% in final energy consumption and binding targets for member states. A month earlier, the EC launched a proposal for raising the current 20% target to 27% for 2030 at the EU level without separate binding goals for member state. The final 2030 targets need to be approved by the EU governments and the European Parliament.