Eaton Electrical has long been an advocate of renewable energy, and we’re pleased to that a recent study has shown that of the new power added to the EU’s electricity grids in 2016, the majority was renewable.

Close to 90 per cent of new power in Europe now comes from renewable sources, meaning that the shift away from fossil fuels is proceeding. The previous best was in 2014 when 79 per cent but the new high comes as 21.1gigawatts of the total new capacity in the EU (24.5GW) came from wind, solar, biomass and hydro in 2016 (an 86 per cent total).

What are the main sources?

Of the newly installed energy capacity, wind farms accounted for more than half (51 per cent), followed by Solar PV (27 per cent) and natural gases (13 per cent). Biomass, hydro, coal, waste, nuclear, ocean and geothermal made up smaller percentages.

Although a high volume of this new power coming to the grid is from renewable sources there is still a reliance of coals and gases. Renewables remain a much smaller fraction of the continent’s total power capacity. In 2016, wind energy did pass coal to become the second-largest form of power but gas remains the highest.

To put things into perspective, Europe’s total wind power capacity, the largest renewable energy source, adds up to 153.7 GW this makes up just part of the continent’s total power capacity of 918.8 GW. Coal still fulfils most of Europe’s electricity demand, but a continued push for renewable energy makes us hopeful that the gap will eventually be closed.

Benefits of using renewable energy

  • Reduced emissions: Renewable energy sources help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions put into the air
  • Renewable resource: renewable energy doesn’t deplete so there is no possibility that it will run out, ever
  • Improve public health: Greenhouse and carbon compounds emitted by fossils fuels pose a risk to public health if inhaled over time

There are a number of low carbon energy providers available for both homes and businesses. There are also a number of measures that can be put in place to reduce a business’s carbon footprint.

If you are interested in reducing your business’ carbon footprint, whilst lowering your energy bills, click here for a free energy audit.

To find out more about how your business could become more energy efficient, call Eaton Electrical today on 01509 414 222 or email [email protected].