European expansion of renewables slows – a fall in alternatives blamed for shortfall

Changes to government support schemes for renewable energy in several European countries led to a fall into the expansion of alternative power during 2012, according to a report by The Union of the Electricity Industry (Eurelectric).

Renewable energy capacity expanded by only 11% in 2012, slowing from the 15% expansion recorded in 2011.

A shift among fossil fuels from gas-fired towards coal-fired power generation was also recorded in the annual report, entitled “Power Statistics & Trends”.

The document also noted “stagnating electricity demand” and “stationary carbon dioxide emissions”.

Eurelectric Secretary General Hans ten Berge said:

“Our data show that the generation mix in Europe is changing: in 2012 fossil fuel fired generation for the first time accounted for less than 50% of total EU-27 generation.

“But the expansion of renewables is going hand in hand with an expansion of coal-fired generation, undermining the progress that Europe has made towards decarbonisation.

“A strong carbon price signal is needed to reverse this trend.”

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