A recent study has shown that the European Union is using less coal, gas and oil than ever before, with its 27 member states showing an overall decrease of 17% in their usage. Clean energy thinktank, Ember, published these results, whilst also claiming that the EU’s production of 410TWh of electricity from greenhouse gases is the lowest level recorded.
This drop is apparently due to fall in demand for electricity as well as general growth for clean energy alternatives.
Matt Ewan, data analyst and author of the report, commented on the findings, “we’re glad to see fossil fuels down, but in the long-term it is not going to be sustainable to rely on the fall in demand to do this. We have to be replacing this energy rather than just expecting it to go away and not be used.”
The EU has committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% from levels recorded in 1990 by the end of this decade, with the eventual goal of hitting net zero emissions by 2050. To do this, it will probably have to use less energy but more electricity than it does today, due to more people heating homes and powering cars with electricity instead of fossil fuels.
According to the report, 14 countries had their lowest total fossil fuel generation on record for the period. In 7 of these countries – Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Poland and Slovenia – fossil fuel burning hit its lowest levels this century.
Petras Katinas, an energy analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and co-author of Ember’s report, comments on “the EU’s reliance on fossil fuels.” They state “this dependence extends to external sources as well. Given that a significant portion of the EU’s fossil fuel needs are met through imports from third world countries, a vulnerability exists. Even a minor disruption in the supply chain could lead to price hikes and potential energy shortages.”
This news comes alongside a recent article published regarding the cost efficiency of renewable energy versus fossil fuels. The pace of the changeover to sustainable alternatives seems to be increasing as time goes by, The Renewable Energy Institute aims to be at the forefront of this changeover, ensuring all training needs are met for businesses and professionals across all sectors. Our Renewable Energy Consultant Expert Certificate provides the perfect foundation for ensuring you have the essential knowledge to begin your renewable energy changeover.
Similar to the earlier report, the Ember report found growth within multiple renewable energy alternatives in the EU. Solar power growth continued in the first half of the year, making 13% more electricity than it did in the same period in 2022. Wind generation rose by 5% and hydropower grew 11% despite a shortfall due to heavy droughts.