The European Power Sector in 2017 report was released by think tank Sandbag in cooperation with German advocacy group Agora Energiewende.
It found non-hydro renewable generation – wind, solar, and biomass – produced more power in 2017 (679TWh) than coal (669TWh) for the first time.
Sandbag noted the fact coal produced more than twice that of non-hydro renewables just five years ago.
Last year was also the first time renewables' share of gross electricity production in Europe reached 30% — up from 29.8% in 2016.
"This was because the huge growth in wind generation was almost completely offset by the lowest hydro electricity generation in a decade," the report explained.
However, renewable deployment is becoming more reliant on Germany and the UK, and is increasingly "biased" towards wind power.
Germany and the UK alone contributed roughly 56% of renewables generation growth between 2014 and 2017 – up from 41% in 2011-2014.
"To some extent this may reflect the fact that some member states have already reached their national 2020 targets under the EU Renewable Energy Directive...
"It is, however, also a reflection of unnecessarily high financing costs, particularly in central and south-eastern Europe, standing in the way of translating the dramatic decline in renewable energy technology costs into truly low-cost renewable energy projects," the report suggested
Wind, meanwhile, provided 46% of generation from 2011 to 2014. Since then, however, it has supplied 72%, the report said.
In the report's outlook, Sandbag predicts renewable power to supply a third of Europe's electricity in 2018.