Europe begins to fulfill its plans to make the energy transition. For the first time in history in the first half of the year, renewable energies produced more electricity in the European Union than fossil energies.
The data is from a report by the consulting firm Ember, which says that “the decline of fossil fuels It’s a sign of the times. Coal and gas are too expensive, too dangerous and the European Union is abolishing them.”
Wind and solar
Data from this consulting firm ensure that in the first half of the year, 33% of the continent’s electricity was produced from coal and gas, below, for the first time, electricity production. from renewable energywhich reached 36%.
The report says: “Between January and June, fossil energies generated 410 Terawatt hours in the European Union, the lowest rate ever recorded in the electricity mix at 33%.” More than two thirds of that 36% generated by renewable energies was generated by wind and solar.
Europe accelerates the energy transition for several reasons. The first is structural: the climate crisis. The bloc has decided that by 2050 will be carbon neutral and this translates into a residual or practically non-existent use of energy inputs such as oil, gas or coal.
This bet, together with the progressive decline in the share of nuclear energy, leads to a rid increase in renewable energy deployment.
Furthermore, renewables make the European Union do not depend for your energy supply on regimes like Russian.
Other major gas and oil suppliers They are not refined democracies either., as are the cases of Algeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Qatar. And the reduction in gas use in the last year and a half, especially in industry, to avoid financing the Russian war in Ukrainehas also served as an incentive to reduce the consumption of fossil energy.
The rise in electricity generation from renewables does not compensate for all the fall in electricity generated by coal and gas. The difference is in a reduction in demand which starts with the sharp rise in energy prices that occurred from the end of 2021.
When there is less demand, less electricity is produced and the first thing that stops are the coal and gas plants, because the electricity they generate is more expensive and because they contaminate.
This drop in demand has made it possible to reduce electricity generation in gas and coal plants by 17% from the first half of 2022 to the same period in 2023.
In five countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland and Portugal) the drop in electricity generation with gas and coal was greater than 30% in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2022. For the first time, coal produced less than 10% of European electricity in a month, May.
Fulfilling European promises It will not be achieved with these rhythms and the European Commission periodically repeats to governments that they must accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, especially solar and wind.
The reduction from 2022 to 2023 was largely due to this decrease in forced demand due to high prices of electricity, but prices are returning to normal margins and if demand does not continue to reduce there will be a g and gas and coal will not be able to continue falling as they have until now. Hence the need to accelerate the deployment of renewables.
Electricity generation from hydraulic energy It also increased strongly between the first half of 2022 and the same period of 2023 (11%), but its ability to grow is limited because the rains and snowfalls, according to forecasts, they will not grow in the coming years but will decline.
Nuclear power can give a respite after the French one, which accounts for practically half of the reactors in operation in the European Union, recovers from its Annus horribilis from late 2022 and early 2023, when it had dozens of reactors stopped for unscheduled repairs.