Europe goes fast forward on climate

Over the past few weeks I collected a series of news on how the European Union is going fast forward on climate change. One can expect emissions will keep on decreasing in the near future, and this albeit the fact they are already 23 percent below their 1990 levels

German emissions decreased by 4.6 percent in 2014 alone and the country will have a third of its electricity provided by renewables this year as Cleantechnica reported this month.

United Kindgdom emissions decreased 35 percent since 1990. The UK has been for a long time – with a certain consistency despite some back stepping – a leader on climate change.

Solar and Wind power had a great year in 2015 in Europe, growing by 15 and 6.3 percent respectively according to new reports quoted by Cleantechnica. The European solar market grew by 15% in 2015, connecting 8 GW of new solar power to the grid, compared to 6.95 GW in 2014.

European wind power capacity grew by 12.8 GW, with 9.766 GW in onshore and 3.034 MW offshore. This represents a massive 44 percent of all new power installations in the 28 EU members. Now wind power is the third electricity source accross the Union, accounting for 11.4 percent of needs as the European Wind Energy Association reports.

Taking finance classes for my MBA at Pinchot University, I delve sometimes into Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC). This cost – the fee that investors ask for making capital available –  ranged from 3.5% in Germany to 12% in Greece in 2014 for new wind energy projects in 2014. Cleantechnica once again has a great article on how this matters for renewable energy expansion.

The United Kingdom already has as much offshore wind power capacity than all other nations on the planet combined, but they are going to increase that capacity again with the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with one gigawatt of capacity, using 7 MW turbines.

Last but not least, Sweden plans to be carbon neutral by 2045. As Climate Change News reported, ” Seven out of eight parliamentary parties back proposal for rapid greenhouse gas emissions cuts, boosted by Paris agreement. ” 

Soon I will propose an article on how my dear home country – France – is not completely idle on that sustainability wave sweaping accross Europe. So stay tuned !

Image credits : Flickr.

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