In the first half of 2020, Europe generated more sustainable electricity for the first time – including wind turbines and solar panels – than fossil electricity. This is reported by climate think tank Ember.
The think tank publishes a report every year on the European energy supply and its sustainability.
11 percent growth
Not less than 40 percent of the electricity that was generated in the first 6 months of 2020, originated from windmills, solar panels, hydroelectric and biomass plants. In the same period, 34 percent of the electricity was generated from fossil fuels. A significant part of the remaining electricity comes from nuclear power plants.
In addition, the production of sustainable power increased by 11 percent, according to the Ember researchers largely due to the roll-out of extra wind turbines and solar panels. Together these 2 sources accounted for a record yield of 21 percent of European electricity production. Denmark (64 percent), Ireland (49 percent) and Germany (42 percent) had the largest amounts of wind and solar energy.
18 percent less fossil
Electricity production from fossil fuels fell by 18 percent. Fossils were squeezed on 2 fronts: due to the increase in renewable generation and a 7 percent drop in electricity demand due to the corona crisis. For example, the production of electricity from coal fell by 32 percent and lignite by 29 percent.
“This marks a symbolic moment in the transition of the European electricity sector,” said Dave Jones, senior analyst at Ember. “Countries like Poland and the Czech Republic are struggling with the question of how to get rid of coal, there is now a clear way. The new European Green Deal will generate new investments in wind and solar and also move away from coal.”
Source: Solarmagazine.nl, 13 August 2020