By Kari Williamson

In its report, The State of Renewable Energies in Europe, EurObserv'ER has analysed figures for 2010, and found that the renewable energy share of gross final energy consumption reached 12.4% in 2010, compared to 11.5% in 2009.

The share of total electricity consumption rose from 18.2% to 19.8%, and the share of gross inland energy consumption rose .09 percentage points to 9.9%.

EurObserv'ER says the growth is due to the increase in final consumption of solid biomass for heating during the long winter, but also due to renewable energy for electricity from hydropowe, electricity from biomass, wind and solar.

Furthermore, 1.11 million people were employed by the renewable energy industry, up 25% on 2009. The biggest employer was biomass with over 273,000, followed by wind and solar PV.

In terms of economic activity, renewable energy brought in €127 billion, up from €120bn, with solar PV being the biggest earner with over €45.5bn.