Europe breaks renewables record — but China smashes it

From German Broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW):

For 2017, Europe passed a new landmark in its transition to a renewable energy supply: For the first time, more of its electricity came from the sun, wind and biomass than from coal.

The news, published this week by climate think tanks Sandbag and Agora Energiewende, is part of a worldwide trend for renewables. Globally, wind and solar power in particular are experiencing a sustained boom, and can increasingly compete with fossil fuels on cost.

But European investment in renewables is in decline. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, investment in renewables in the EU fell 50 percent between 2011 and 2017, to $57 billion (€46 billion).

“In Europe right now we have the lowest investment in over a decade,” says Stefan Gsänger, general secretary of the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA). “Under such conditions, businesses obviously cannot invest … innovation is happening elsewhere.”

And that place is China — which is building out its solar and renewable capacity like no other country on Earth.

China, recovering from an economic slowdown, saw electricity consumption rise 6.6 percent last year, according to government figures. European electricity consumption, meanwhile, rose by 0.7 percent last year, but the EU Clean Energy package aims to reduce overall energy consumption by 30 percent by 2030.

Read the whole article at DW

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