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European renewables outstrip fossil fuels for second year running

Renewables have once again generated more power than fossil fuels in the first and second quarter of this year, energy analysts EnAppSys reported last week.  The firm’s latest report reveals that renewables generated 245.8TWh of electricity across Europe between April and June 2019, compared to 202.7TWh of fossil fuel electricity.

In the first quarter of the year, meanwhile, renewables generated 265.2TWh of electricity, compared to 233.6TWh of fossil fuel power.

The dominance of renewables in the first half of the year held despite a three per cent drop in renewable energy generation in the second quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, EnAppSys said.

The results continue the pattern set in 2018, when renewables generated 288.4TWh in Q1 and 252.8TWh in Q2, while fossil fuels generated 258.9TWh in Q1 and 224.8TWh in Q2.  However, the analyst house said the state of the fuel power mix across Europe has “largely stabilised”, with large increases in renewables capacity now a thing of the past.  “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,” EnAppSys explained.

The paper said reduced or axed subsidy support for renewables projects was one factor in slowing deployment, while some countries are struggling to switch from coal to gas because a lack of domestic gas supplies and infrastructure.  However, if the EU is to meet its 2030 clean energy target of a 32 per cent renewables share, green electricity is expected to have to account for at least 50 per cent of power consumption year-round. That would require a significant expansion in green power generation across the trading bloc to bring it up from around 39 per cent today.

The update came in the same week as newly confirmed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised to make climate action a top priority during the first 100 days of her term in office, as she seeks to strengthen emissions goals and introduce a raft of measures to accelerate clean tech investment.

Source – BusinessGreen   |   Image – Physics World

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