Solar 'begins to soar' in Europe as generation leaps 27% in two years-- Ember

Feb 3, 2022 09:50 AM ET
  • Solar is booming throughout Europe, generating 27% even more power last year than in 2019, according to brand-new analysis from power thinktank Ember.
Solar 'begins to soar' in Europe as generation leaps 27% in two years-- Ember
Image: Alternus Energy

Solar now generates 6% of Europe's electricity, with Spain and the Netherlands driving development and also markets across the continent laying the foundations for rapid expansion.

Comparing electricity generation in 2021 with 2019 throughout the European Union's (EU) 27 member states, Ember's European Electricity Review shows that solar as well as wind for the first time created more electricity than gas, with solar's development vital for passing this landmark as the technology "starts to soar".

With each other, solar as well as wind created 19% of EU electricity in 2021, up from 17% in 2019.

Ember stated that regardless of cases on the contrary, solar and wind supplied throughout the continent's electricity price crisis, which started in the 2nd half of last year as fossil gas cost increases accelerated. EU solar and also wind power output was the greatest on record for each month in the second half of 2021 except September.

The report highlights Spain's solar story is a textbook example for other nations in Europe to adhere to as it practically increased solar generation from 15TWh in 2019 to 26TWh last year. On existing plans, solar is set to offer almost 30% of Spain's electricity generation by 2030 (up from 10% currently).

The Netherlands, at the same time, saw almost 10% of its power demand satisfied by solar in 2021 as it boosted generation 115% given that 2019. Taken together, Spain and also the Netherlands account for half of Europe's solar growth since 2019.

In spite of development in markets such as Poland, Hungary and Portugal, Italy's solar development has actually plateaued, Ember claimed, with much of the stagnation due to hold-ups in safeguarding planning civil liberties.

However with affordable solar power now showing up throughout Europe, the thinktank said it anticipates much more nations to elevate their solar aspirations, complying with Germany's brand-new coalition government, for instance, which has actually set a target of 200GW installed by 2030.

The report discovers that fossil fuels still represented 37% of EU electricity manufacturing in 2021, down from 39% in 2019, while renewables generated 37% and nuclear 26%.

In spite of solar's surge, slowing down coal phase-out and also the failure to release sufficient clean power suggested that EU power market emissions fell at less than half the rate required for 1.5 C.

While traditionally, brand-new eco-friendly generation replaced coal power, an outcome of soaring gas prices in the second half of 2021 meant renewables rather changed fossil gas, meaning coal power decreased simply 3% from 2019 to 2021, compared to 29% in the two years formerly, Ember said.

The present gas crisis "should be a massive wake-up call", said Charles Moore, Ember's Europe lead. "Keeping 1.5 C available needs a large step up in renewables to make sure that all nonrenewable fuel sources are off the grid by 2035. Currently is the minute to double down on Europe's transition to clean electricity."

The thinktank cautioned that with market prices indicating that the gas crisis will continue for a minimum of the following two years, Europe's climate objectives could be in danger if countries fall short to step up renewables release.

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