(Montel) Power generation from fossil fuels is set to slide 20% year on year in Europe this year as the region’s transition to renewables continues apace, said think-tank Ember in a new report published on Tuesday.
While coal-fired generation would decline, gas output would fall the fastest to 2025 as it was more expensive, it added in the study entitled European Electricity Review.
Gas generation increased nearly 1% last year compared to 2021 but “this trend is expected to change drastically in the coming year”.
“The energy crisis has undoubtedly sped up Europe’s electricity transition. Europe is hurtling towards a clean, electrified economy and this will be on full display in 2023,” said Dave Jones, head of Ember’s data insights.
“Change is coming fast and everyone needs to be ready for it.”
His comments came in light of energy prices skyrocketing last year, particularly gas, as a shortage sparked by the fallout from the Ukraine war. It had also sped up moves by the EU to become less reliant on Russia for its energy supply.
“Europeans know that we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. Renewables are crucial to tackle the climate crisis and cut air pollution. They are also crucial to end our dependence on Russian fossil fuels,” European Commission’s executive vice president Frans Timmermans was quoted in Ember’s report as saying.
“The ongoing energy crisis will still bring another difficult winter but the more renewables we have, the more sovereign we are in our energy supply.”
The transition was already coming, with wind and solar generation accounting for 22% of EU electricity output in 2022, overtaking gas for the first time at 20%, with coal at 16%, said Ember.
However, any fears “of a coal rebound are now dead”, said Jones.
In terms of gas, a study released on Monday by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies said Russian flows were unlikely to increase significantly this year.
UK energy giant BP also released a report yesterday that said the Russia-Ukraine war might speed up Europe’s energy transition.