European cleantech sector kept growing in 2010

Here are two good news for the European Union and the cleantech sector.  First and foremost, wind and solar energies accounted for 68 percent of the increase in electricity capacity in 2010 in the European Union.

Second, according to the latest EurObserv’ER report, the local renewable energy sector has passed the one million job mark as 1.11 million people are employed in this sector within the 27 countries.

Still to the report, the share of renewables in the gross final energy consumption has increased by 0.9 point. Continuing such a trend would allow the Union to reach its 2020 goals.

To Climate Progress :

As the sovereign debt crisis unfolds in Europe, onlookers have questioned whether the region will stay committed to renewable energy. The answer so far is “yes.”

Even with a few countries pulling back on government support of the industry because of fiscal troubles, 2011 was still a huge year for deployment — with wind and solar alone representing almost 70% of new capacity.

That’s almost a 10-fold increase over deployment in 2000, when only 3.5 GW of renewable energy projects were installed. Last year, 32 GW of renewables — mostly wind and solar — were deployed across European countries.

The figures come from the European Wind Energy Association, which just released a report on industry growth. Growth in Europe has consistently outstripped forecasts. The EU currently has a target of getting 20% of its final energy (heat, electricity and fuels) from renewable energy.

Numerous countries have already surpassed their needed targets in the electricity and heating sectors, and it’s likely that the entire region will move past the goal well ahead of schedule.

It’s expected that renewable electricity sources will meet 34% of demand in Europe by 2020, with 25 of 27 countries to surpass their targets beforehand.

To Clean Technica :

Clean energy jobs in the EU have now passed the 1 million milestone. According to a new report [PDF] out by the European Commission, The State of Renewable Energies in Europe, 1.14 million people were working in the clean (or green) energy sector in 2010, after a 25% increase in jobs in that sector that year (compared to 2009).

Yes, I know, such landmarks are much less exciting when they are reported 1-2 years after the fact, but these are the latest figures on this massive industry, adn were just released today.

In addition to the big jobs increase in 2010, clean energy revenue increased 15% that year, reaching €127 billion ($167 billion).

This proves it even more : renewables not only do work but are witnessing splendid growth in these hard economic times.

One could wonder what will happen when fossil fuels subsidies will finally be abolished and when action on climate change will become more important…

Exciting times are ahead for both the European Union and its local cleantech sector.

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