Renewables now major part of EU power mix, report finds

Renewables have generated more power across the EU than fossil fuels in the first half of the year for the second year in a row, new analysis has found.

The latest quarterly report by energy analysts EnAppSys found that renewables generated 245.8TWh of electricity across Europe between April to June 2019, after generating 265.2TWh of electricity in the first quarter of the year.

Fossil fuels, in comparison, generated 202.7TWh of electricity in the second quarter of the year and 233.6TWh in the first quarter.

Renewables’ dominance across the EU continued despite a 3% drop in renewable generation between April and June compared to the same period in 2018.

The analysts said that the figures come as the state of Europe’s power fuel mix has largely stabilised, with renewable capacity no longer seeing the big increases of previous years.

‘This means that the share of generation from fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear have largely remained static since 2017, with renewables providing more than fossil fuels in the first half of the year and with this switching in the second half the year,’ the report explained.

EnAppSys warned that reduced finance and subsidies for renewable projects ais one of the factors behind renewables slowing down in Europe, while some EU regions are finding it hard to switch from coal to gas due to poor domestic gas supplies and infrastructure.

The analysis poses challenges for the EU which has set itself the target of having 32% renewable energy sources in its energy mix by 2030.

The trend towards renewables in Q2 across Europe was the same in the UK as coal continued to be pushed out in favour of gas and renewable generation.

The UK’s share of power generation from renewables and nuclear rose above 50% once more between April and June, having dipped slightly below that figure in the first quarter of 2019, EnAppSys said.

Coal-fired generation reached its lowest ever level in the UK during the last quarter as Great Britain’s electricity network enjoyed its longest-ever coal-free run of 18 days.

‘This was despite a notable decline in levels of generation from nuclear plants in the market as a number of plants were in outage; with renewables generating almost twice as much power as that produced from nuclear plants in the market,’ EnAppSys said.

Overall, 40.6% of the UK’s power in April to June this year came from gas-fired plants, 33.1% from renewables, 17.6% from nuclear, 8.1% from imports and 0.5% from coal.

Earlier this week, the National Grid’s electricity system operator (ESO) announced that it had joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a global coalition of governments and organisations driving the transition away from coal power.

Photo Credit – Pixabay


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