4 innovative renewable energy projects powering Europe's green future.


Between 2007 and 2017, the volume of renewable energy produced in the European Union's 28 member states rose by 64%.

That energy comes from diverse sources, from the burning of wood and biomass to wind, geothermal and solar.

In countries across the continent, renewable energy is providing an increasing share of the power mix - the top five nations for renewables as a share of consumed energy are Sweden (54.5%), Finland (41.0 %), Latvia (39.0 %), Denmark (35.8 %) and Austria (32.6 %).

Here are some of the projects helping the EU pave the way to a sustainable energy future.

Europe' renewable energy comes from various sources.

Image: Statistical Office of the European Union

  1. Floating power

    The Rhone is one of Europe's most important rivers. It flows from the Swiss Alps to the Mediterranean, and gives rise to some of the best-known wines produced in France. Now the Rhone valley is a renewable energy hotspot, too - it's home to Europe's largest floating solar power plant.

    The 17 megawatt (MW) facility sits in what was once a quarry, which has since been converted into a lake. Its annual output will be enough to power 4,733 homes.

    The project has been configured with community ownership in mind; local citizens were invited to invest in the plant, thereby becoming stakeholders in its future success.

    Nordic and Baltic states lead the way on green energy in Europe.

    Image: Statistical Office of the European Union

  2. Communal wind

    Community ownership plays a major role in renewable energy projects in Denmark, too. Just off the coast of the country's capital, Copenhagen, lie the 20 turbines of the Middelgrunden offshore wind farm.

    When Middelgrunden was built in 2000, it was funded by investment from the people - around 8,500 Danish citizens bought shares, raising more than $25 million and taking a 50% stake in the plant.

    The collective ownership model is not unique in Denmark. But this pioneering move to use it in the production of energy has taken root. Now, all new wind farms in the country must be at least 20% community-owned.

  3. Colossal turbines

    Imagine a wind turbine so large, so powerful, that a single rotation of its propeller could supply...

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