Solar, wind compensate for decline of hydro, nuclear in EU electricity output
A new study by E3G and Ember shows that solar and wind produced almost one-quarter of the European Union's electricity between March and September 2022, up from 21% last year. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the two generation sources have reportedly grown to a record 39 TWh, up 13% year on year.
The study shows that the increase in solar and wind during this period helped to mitigate the impacts of drought across Europe, amid a 21% decline in hydropower generation and a 19% reduction of nuclear capacity.
“The record increase in wind and solar compared to last year avoided the need for 8 billion cubic meters of additional fossil gas at a cost of €11 billion ($10.8 billion),” the companies said.
The figure was calculated based on the average EU benchmark TTF day-ahead gas price for March to September 2022. The study assumed that solar and wind power replaced expensive gas in the electricity mix.
The European Commission’s REPowerEU plan has the potential to significantly reduce Europe’s exposure to costly gas imports, according to the report.
“With tight LNG markets sustaining high gas costs for the next years, governments need to support the clean energy ambition of RePowerEU, making it a core element of the energy price crisis response,” said Artur Patuleia, senior associate at E3G.
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