Europe is slowly reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. A report co-published by Ember and Agora Energiewende, two think tanks focused on clean energy, revealed that the continent generated more electricity from renewables than from fossil fuels in 2020. This has never happened before, according to the research team common. Wind, solar, hydropower and biomass accounted for 38% of European electricity – up from 34.6% in 2019 – while fossil fuels have fallen to 37%. The main drivers of this clean energy shift were solar and wind, which increased by 15% and 9% respectively. The countries that increased the most in these apartments were the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium, according to the co-authored report.
The production of coal and nuclear power, meanwhile, fell 20% and 10% respectively. (Nuclear is a separate category from renewables and fossil fuels.) Gas remains popular across the continent, however. The power source was still relatively cheap throughout the pandemic, which is why it only dropped 4% over the 12-month period. “Although gas fell in 2020, it is still 14% higher than in 2015,” the think tanks explained in their co-authored report. “Greece, the Netherlands and Poland saw their gas production increase in 2020.” Wind and solar are therefore effectively replacing coal, rather than gas, across Europe for the time being.