February 9, 2017
Renewable energy sources made up nearly nine-tenths of new power added to Europe’s electricity grids last year, in a sign of the continent’s rapid shift away from fossil fuels. Of the 24.5GW of new capacity built across the EU in 2016, 21.1GW – or 86% – was from wind, solar, biomass and hydro, eclipsing the previous high-water mark of 79% in 2014.
Germany installed the most new wind capacity in 2016, while France, the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland and Lithuania all set new records for windfarm installations.
The total capacity added was 3% down on 2015 but a surge in offshore windfarms being connected in Britain saw total, Europe-wide investment hit a record €27.5bn (£23bn).
Despite Europe’s installed wind power capacity now standing at 153.7GW, it is still a relatively small fraction of the region’s 918.8GW of total power capacity.