Renewables overtook gas in power generation for first time in 2022: study

(EurActiv, 31 Jan 2023) Wind and solar power generated a record 22% of Europe’s electricity in 2022, overtaking fossil gas for the first time and outpacing coal again, according to a study by energy think tank Ember.

Ember’s European Electricity Review 2022, published on Tuesday (31 January), shows that renewables are increasingly dominating the EU electricity market, with solar generation rising by a record 39 terawatt hours in 2022, up 24% and almost doubling the previous record.

“We are seeing a remarkable acceleration in the pace with which renewable energy is being built,” said EU climate chief Frans Timmermans.

“It’s clear that European citizens want to benefit from cheap, clean energy. It shows that our target of 45% renewables by 2030 is ambitious but entirely feasible,” he added.

According to the report, wind and solar generated 22% of the EU’s electricity mix, while fossil gas generated 20% and coal generated 16%.

This growth in renewables helped Europe weather the unprecedented deficit in hydro and nuclear power generation – respectively caused by draughts and maintenance –, a gap equal to 7% of Europe’s total electricity demand in 2022.

“Europe has avoided the worst of the energy crisis,” said Dave Jones, Ember’s head of data insights.

“The shocks of 2022 only caused a minor ripple in coal power and a huge wave of support for renewables,” he added.

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EurActiv, 31 Jan 2023: Renewables overtook gas in power generation for first time in 2022: study