wind power generation and solar reached record levels in the European Union in 2022overtaking natural gas as a source of energy for the first time and preventing coal from making a strong comeback after a decade of exile.
In the European Electricity Review 2023 report, it is pointed out that solar energy y wind generated 22% of the EU’s energy last yearwhich marks the first time that renewables have surpassed natural gas, while maintaining their advantage over coal.
According to the report, when Russia cut off natural gas supplies in response to sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, the EU’s response was to “accelerate its electricity transition” to sources renewable and autonomous. All countries have sun and wind.
Thanks to this acceleration, the generation of solar energy in the EU it reached a record 39 TWh in 2022, representing a year-on-year increase of 24%. According to the report, solar installations in the EU increased by 47% last year.
“Europe has avoided the worst of the energy crisis. The shocks of 2022 only caused a small shock wave in coal power and a huge wave of support for renewables,” say the study’s spokespersons.
A promising future with more renewable energy than ever
According to the report, hydroelectric generation is likely to pick up next year (if there is no drought again), France’s nuclear facilities will come online again and the deployment of wind and solar power will continue to accelerate.
“Europe will see a huge drop in fossil fuels,” the report states. Globally, 2021 was the first year that wind and solar covered 10% of global energy needs, but fossil fuel generation also increased that year.
The nuclear energy supplied the EU with the same amount of energy (the 22 %) than wind and solar last year, most of it coming from France.
Of course, the International Energy Agency (IEA), made up of 31 countries, considers that there is no practical way to achieve the goal of zero net carbon emissions that does not go directly through greater use of nuclear energy. Solar and wind power are just as necessary as the nuclear solution.
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