Energy efficiency and renewables on the rise in EU and US

Energy efficiency and renewables on the rise in EU and US

Giacomo Maniscalco
Share
The EEA has registered promising data in energy consumption for European countries looking to the objectives set for 2020, while the EIA has signals an increase in US renewables, with solar energy to leading the way

According to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA), European Union (EU) member states seem to be on track towards achieving the targets set for 2020 in terms of energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The data shows that, with the exception of 2015 where there was a slight increase, the group of states in question have in fact in recent years lowered the level of total consumption and increased the use of energy from renewable sources. More specifically, the EEA indicates that in 2015 renewables covered 16.4% of total consumption, an increase of 0.4% over the previous year. The aim is still that of reaching the threshold of 20% by 2020, a figure that seems attainable but, as explained by EEA head Hans Bruyninckx, in spite of positive general trends, the report also institutes some warnings: in the transport sector, for example, where "the use of renewable energy is still insufficient and greenhouse gas emissions are in fact increasing."
Shifting attention to the US, according to figures released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2016 renewables provided 15.1% of total US energy, indicating an increase of 13% on last year. The change is primarily being driven by energy sources such as wind, hydroelectric and geothermal energy, but above all solar power, which registered a 41% growth compared to 2015.