This week, the International Energy Agency came out with some new figures that will make many in the European renewable energy sector nervous.
The Paris-based intergovernmental organization says that while renewable generation is on the rise globally, Europe’s lead in the sector is shrinking. The report cites policy uncertainty as the main culprit – this compared with the more solid policy backing now in place in the United States, China, India and Mexico. Dizzying policy changes in Europe are making investors hold back on the cash.
The EU currently has the largest installed and connected wind and solar capacity in the world, according to the European Environment Agency. This has been the result of heavy investment: From 2005 to 2012, Europe led the world in investing in renewables.
But China surpassed the EU in 2013, as did the US did a few years later. Europe has the largest amount of installed renewable plants now – but in a few years time, it probably won’t anymore.
But there is one way that European businesses can get back on the renewables fast track without relying on policy support – and without even relying on deployment of new equipment. Europe is, in fact, sitting on the key to its potential success right now.