Sustainable Energy

10 European countries that are going big on renewable energy

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CNBC's Sustainable Energy takes a look at 10 countries where renewables are becoming an increasingly important part of the energy mix.

The percentage figures are for European Union member states in 2015 -- the latest available year -- and reflect the share of energy from renewable sources in a country's gross final energy consumption.

The figures are from Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office.

(10) Romania – 24.8 percent

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Nearly a quarter of Romania's gross final consumption comes from renewable energy, beating its national target of 24 percent and far exceeding the European target of 20 percent.

(9) Lithuania – 25.8 percent

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Lithuania's ministry of Energy says that the sustainable development of energy from renewables is "an important pillar" of its energy policy.

In January 2017, the ministry said that Lithuania was home to more than 2,500 power plants holding permits to produce electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro.

(8) Portugal – 28.0 percent

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In 2016, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that renewable energy in Portugal had made "strong progress" over the past decade and that the country had become "one of Europe's leaders in terms of use of renewable energy sources … Such as wind and micro-generation."

(7) Estonia – 28.6 percent

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According to Estonia's ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the country's energy needs are, in large part, met by oil shale and renewable fuels.

The ministry has said that as renewable energy technologies develop and become cheaper, a range of "renewable energy generation plants are becoming more competitive and available."

(6) Croatia – 29.0 percent

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At more than 2.1 gigawatts, hydropower represents a large chunk of Croatia's installed renewable capacity, according to the World Energy Council, with wind and solar following on behind.

(5) Denmark – 30.8 percent

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Denmark is a big player when it comes to wind energy. According to the Danish Wind Industry Association, more than 31,000 people worked in the industry in 2015.

(4) Austria – 33.0 percent

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Hydropower is a big deal in Austria. According to the World Energy Council, it is home to more than 13 gigawatts of installed hydropower capacity.

Austria is also home to more than 2.4 gigawatts of installed wind capacity and 900 megawatts of installed solar capacity.

(3) Latvia – 37.6 percent

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A 2015 report from the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia stated that hydropower and gas were providing the majority of domestic electricity supply, with wind and biomass also "contributing to the mix in recent years."

Hydroelectric plants produced 39 percent of the country's total electricity generation in 2014.

(2) Finland – 39.3 percent

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Finland's ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment says that bioenergy, hydropower, wind power and ground heat are among its most important sources of renewable energy.

(1) Sweden – 53.9 percent

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Sweden leads the way with over half its energy coming from renewables in its gross final consumption.

According to Swedish authorities, in 1970 oil accounted for over 75 percent of its energy supplies, with that figure falling to roughly 20 percent today.