In a sign of the Europe’s rapid shift away from fossil fuels, renewable energy sources made up nearly 90 percent of new power added to electricity grids on the continent last year. Of the 24.5 gigawatts of new capacity built across the European Union in 2016, 86 percent was from wind, solar, biomass and hydro, eclipsing the previous high-water mark of 79 percent in 2014. For the first time, wind farms accounted for more than half of the new capacity installed, according to data from the trade group WindEurope. Wind power also overtook coal to become the EU’s second largest form of power capacity after gas. Germany installed the most new wind capacity in 2016, while France, the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland and Lithuania all set new records for windfarm installations.
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