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Data Point: Europe's first quarter energy mix is looking cleaner than ever

Image: Unsplash

The first quarter of 2024 is looking good for clean energy in Europe. A record 60 percent of the continent's electricity in the first two months of the year came from clean sources, according to data from energy think tank Ember. 

Total clean electricity generation (solar, wind, hydro and nuclear) for January and February stood 516.5 terawatt hours (TWh), up 12 percent from the same period last year. Electricity from fossil fuels dropped 8 percent over the previous year to 351 TWh, the lowest level since at least 2015, according to Ember. 

Sarah Brown, the agency's Europe program director, said when launching its European Electricity Review 2024: "The EU's power sector is in the middle of a monumental shift. Fossil fuels are playing a smaller role than ever as a system with wind and solar as its backbone comes into view. The energy crisis and Russia's invasion of Ukraine did not lead to coal and gas resurgence – far from it. Coal is nearing phase-out, and as wind and solar grow, gas will be next to enter terminal decline." 

Electricity generated from coal, a mainstay of power supply in Poland, dropped nearly 15 percent while power generation from natural gas-fired plants declined 4 percent y-o-y.

The three renewable energy sources – solar, hydro and wind – recorded strong growth year-on-year while production from nuclear power, the largest single source of clean energy on the continent, rebounded to 172 TWh, about 4 percent more than the same months in 2023.

Europe's solar and wind generation has grown by an average 11 percent annually since 2019.

Author : Mandar Bakre
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