In the European Union, electricity generation from fossil fuels has declined

Luc Williams

According to data from the Ember think-tank published on Wednesday, a number of records were broken in the EU in 2023. Electricity generation from fossil fuels decreased by 19%. on an annual basis, also by 19 percent. CO2 emissions from the energy sector decreased.

Compared to 2007, emissions have already fallen by half

The decrease in electricity production from fossil fuels by 207 TWh was mainly due to a 26% decrease in electricity production. production from coal. 333 TWh, i.e. 12%, was produced from coal. electricity produced in the EU. As Ember notes, since 2016, annual coal production has halved, or by 327 TWh. At the same time, wind and solar generation increased by 354 TWh.

19 percent the decline in emissions from the energy sector means that they have already halved compared to 2007. In turn, production from wind farms was record-breaking, increasing by 13% in 2023. to 475 TWh, for the first time in history overtaking gas production, which was at the level of 452 TWh.

According to Ember’s calculations, for the first time the annual production of electricity from wind and solar exceeded 25%, reaching 27%. For almost a quarter of the time, fossil fuel sources provided less than a quarter of the electricity, down from 4% a year earlier.

In the case of Poland, solar and wind generation exceeded 20% for the first time.

In the case of Poland, as Ember points out, for the first time generation from solar and wind exceeded 20%, and 21% came from these sources. electricity produced in Poland. A year earlier, this indicator was 16%. The share of all renewable sources was 27%. Coal production dropped to 61%, the previous lowest level was 70%. in 2020. Ember estimates that the decline in production from coal is the result of an increase in production from solar and wind by 7 TWh compared to the previous year, an increase in production from gas by 3 TWh, but also due to a decline in domestic production by 10 TWh, half of which resulted from a decline in domestic demand, and the rest from a change in the direction of trade exchange – from exports to imports in 2022.

On Tuesday, the European Commission proposed a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2040. compared to 1990. The target for 2030 is 55%. According to the data presented, emissions of EU countries in 2022 were lower by 32.5%. compared to 1990, with GDP growth in this period by 67%.

As the Commission pointed out, in 2040 the energy system should be practically decarbonized, and renewable sources and nuclear power plants will then meet over 90%. electricity demand. The share of fossil fuel sources is expected to be 3-8%. This translates into approximately 80 percent. reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, with approximately 60 percent consumption of fossil fuels is to come from transport.


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