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Eurostat has just published its finding s on the use of renewable energy across the European Union. The report ‘Statistical Aspects of the Energy Economy in 2009’ finds that the use of renewable energy across the Union has increased 8.3% from the previous year, with notable decreases in the use of coal and gas (9.2% & 10.1%). According to the report, renewable energy now accounts for 18.4% of energy production across Europe – just behind natural gas which provides 19.3%.
The report also looked at ‘Energy Intensity’ – a measure of how much energy is used to make a unit of economic output – finding that this level has fallen for the sixth consecutive year, along with overall energy consumption.
The Eurostat report paints a picture of Europe making great strides towards a renewable future, with a number of individual nations doing particularly well. In support of this, a recent feature in the New York Times explored the measures that Portugal has taken to reduce their dependence on traditional fossil fuels. In a similar political and economic situation to the one currently faced by the UK, Portugal has succeeded in sourcing 45% of their electricity supply from renewable sources – up from 17% just 5 years ago. A remarkable success, and a great example to the rest of Europe.