New power sector data show slowdown of renewable growth

10 December 2013

The expansion of renewables in Europe slowed in 2012, following changes to government support schemes in several European countries. In 2012, renewable capacity expanded by only 11%, compared to 15% in 2011.

These figures are some of the findings from the latest edition of EURELECTRIC's annual data publication Power Statistics and Trends, presented at a lunch debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg today. The debate was hosted by Romana Jordan MEP.

This year's report highlights several trends in Europe for 2012, notably stagnating electricity demand, stationary CO2 emissions, and a shift among fossil fuels from gas-fired towards coal-fired power generation. Meanwhile, the share of renewables continued to increase: generation from renewable resources grew by 7% compared to 2011.

"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,"said EURELECTRIC Secretary General Hans ten Berge.

For the first time, the report also contains an analysis of retail electricity prices in Europe, based on data from Eurostat. The analysis highlights that price components stemming from taxes and levies have grown three times faster than others and now account for more than a quarter of the average household bill.

 "The crisis that we are currently going through has entailed some changes in the field of energy. Also, the European policies in the field of climate and energy have shown some deficiencies and opened a number of challenges. There are practically no more investments in the field of energy without public subsidies and Europe is still facing competitiveness problems. If we are to achieve an internal energy market, a big deal of work needs to be done in the field of dealing with fragmentation and taxation,"commented Romana Jordan.

"The European Parliament is currently working on the 2030 framework for climate and energy policy. If we wish to formulate good policies for the next decades, we should rely on quality data. Therefore I welcome the EURELECTRIC Power Statistics 2013 report, which comes at a time when we are adopting some very important decisions on the future policies and which will underpin the decision-making process,"she continued.

Power Statistics and Trends 2013 highlights the most significant developments in the period 2010-2012 and provides an outlook of major trends up to 2030. The full report also includes data from 1980, 1990 and 2000, enabling a view of the electricity sectors evolution over three decades.

For more information, see www.eurelectric.org/PowerStats2013

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