More than 8.8 GW of new renewable capacity came on-stream, representing the biggest proportional increase among power sectors, the new figures show. This was mainly on-shore and off-shore wind power and some solar installations.
The "impressive growth" has been evidenced since the beginning of the decade, driven strongly by wind power, Eurelectric said.
Renewable energy saw the fastest rate of adding new generating equipment and production in the period, growing by over 250% in only seven years, the electricity industry body stressed. In the same time-frame, fossil-fuel fired capacity increased by a modest 13%.
Despite the clear trend, fossil fuels remain the backbone of European electricity generation, comprising 55% of the bloc's new power production in 2007, the figures show.
In comparison to the year 2000, conventional thermal power has retained its share of the EU's power generation mix. At the same time, renewables have tripled their share from 2% to 6% at the expence of nuclear.
The EU has a legally binding target to source 20% of its energy mix from renewables by 2020. The European Commission estimates that around 34% of Europe's electricity should come from these low-carbon sources to fulfil the obligation.
However, the latest progress report indicates that the EU is likely to fall short of its 2010 electricity target of 21%, reaching only 19% instead (EurActiv 30/04/09).