Renewables are driving down carbon emissions in Europe

A new report has found that renewable materials such as biomass have been an important driving force in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Europe.

A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), titled 'Renewable energy in Europe – approximately recent growth and knock-on effects,' says that without the deployment of renewable energy since 2005, GHGs in 2012 could have been 7% higher than actual emissions.

The report also found that renewable technologies which, in addition to biomass also include wind and solar, increase energy security. If renewable energy consumption has not begun in 2005, the EU's consumption of fossil fuels would have been about 7% higher in 2012.

The most substituted fuel was coal, where consumption would have been 13% higher, while natural gas use would have been 7% higher, at a time when European gas reserves are dwindling.

Hans Bruyninckx, EEA executive director, says: 'Renewable energy is quickly becoming one of Europe's great success stories. We can go even further: if we support innovation in this area it could become a major motor of Europe's economy, bringing down emissions while creating jobs.'

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