The European Union's 28 member countries have all increased their share in renewable energy generation in a bid to meet ambitious 2020 targets. But the jumps made in individual nations revealed vast differences.
In 2012, energy from renewable sources amounted to 14.1 percent of gross energy consumption in the EU, the bloc's statistics office, Eurostat, reported on Monday. The figure marked a 1-percent increase year-on-year.
It also displayed the strides member countries had made since comparable data were first made available in 2004 whenrenewables made up just 8.3 percent of the energy mix.
The share of renewables in energy supplies had been one of the EU's headline indicators for its 2012 strategy, with the target to be reached by that year being 20 percent renewable energy use in overall consumption.
Eurostat indicated there's been a rise in the use of renewables in all member countries. It said the largest jumps since 2004 had been made by Sweden (from 38.7 percent to 51 percent), followed by Denmark and Austria. Bringing up the rear had been Luxembourg and Malta, with the latter only logging a 1.4-percent use of renewables in overall energy consumption.
The 2012 figures were based on data provided for solar thermal and photovoltaic energy as well as hydro and wind energy plus geothermal energy and biomass, including biological waste and liquid biofuels.
In Germany, 12.4 percent of energy consumption came from renewables in 2012, with the rising costs of the nation's ambitious energy transition for most households and many companies having caused a fiery public debate about the thrust and the pace of the current reform.