Renewables: European solar and wind surge

Published: 2012-04-19

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre report on renewables in the EU. Wind and solar PV are central in the productive technological evolution, though the main source is still hydro

Renewables: European solar and wind surge

Renewable energy is increasingly central in the European energy mix, particularly wind and solar power. The latter was confirmed by "Strategic Energy Technologies review – the 2011 Technology Map", the report compiled by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

The study, which analyses renewable technologies, electricity storage and energy efficiency of industries and buildings, emphasised that wind energy increased by 29% in the EU between 2008 and 2010 (84.3 GW of installed capacity) between 2008 and 2010 and by 65% at a global level
(200 GW installed). Solar photovoltaic rose from 14 GW in 2008 to 70 GW in 2011  (30 of which in the EU). Despite the growth of the other sources, the largest share comes from the production of hydroelectric: 88% of the total electricity from renewables, amounting to 3,190 TWh in 2010.
Clean technology for energy production is increasingly growing in Europe both in terms of regulations and of installed capacity and production. The aim is to achieve  the European targets set in terms of sustainability for the power and energy sector.

Essential for these accomplishments is the role played by Enel Green Power, which at the end of 2011 had achieved its target of additional organic installed capacity, and in 2012 continued its development in Europe by putting into service new solar plants in Italy and moving forward as regards global growth and technological diversification, with new achievements like the agreement in the wind sector in North America, the concessions for geothermal exploration in Chile or the grid-injection of installed capacity from hydroelectric in Guatemala.

The development of renewable energy can grow steadily over the next few years, meeting EU targets for 2020 and 2050, provided that network infrastructure also evolves towards smart grids. This is the aim of the commitment in the European consortiumFuture Internet for Smart Energy (Finseny) and the Group’s multi-year participation in EU programmes like Smart Cities and in various European projects for the development of smart grids.

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