The European Union is making steady progress towards its 2020 renewable energy target, a key effort in curbing the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming, official data showed Monday.
Renewables—predominantly wind but including tidal and biomass sources as well—accounted for 14.1 percent of the EU's energy consumption in 2012, up from 13 percent in 2011, the Eurostat statistics bureau said.
The EU has set itself a 20-percent target for renewable energy use by the year 2020, part of its overall "Europe 2020" strategy of sustainable economic growth.
Eurostat said of the 28 member states, Sweden continues to lead the field, with 51 percent of its energy coming from renewables, up from almost 39 percent 10 years ago when the EU average was 8.3 percent.
Latvia on 35.8 percent was the next best performer, followed by Finland on 34.3 percent and Austria 32.1 percent.
Among the lowest ranked were Malta at just 1.4 percent, Luxembourg with 3.1 percent, Britain with 4.2 percent and the Netherlands with 4.5 percent.
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