Eurostat figures confirm rise of renewables during Covid-hit 2020


That the share accounted for by renewables in the energy mix rose at the expense of fossil fuels during Covid-19 lockdowns last year has been accepted for some time but the EU's statistical body has now offered details of the falls in energy-related carbon emissions witnessed in the bloc.

Eurostat, the number-crunching directorate-general of the European Commission revealed energy and fuel-related CO2 emissions fell in all its member states, with Greece blazing a trail with an 18.7% reduction, compared to 2019.

The organization noted its figures do not include emissions caused by the burning of non-recyclable waste in incinerators, and also exclude data from Sweden, which are being revised. Nevertheless, Greece's performance was impressive and almost matched by Estonia, where energy-use emissions were 18.1% lower, year-on-year; and micro state Luxembourg, which posted a 17.9% fall. Spain‘s energy use led to the emission of 16.2% less carbon than in 2019 and Denmark‘s 14.8%.

At the other end of the scale, Malta saw just a 1% fall in its energy-related emissions, Hungary 1.7%, and Ireland and Lithuania 2.6% each.

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Eurostat said coal and oil combustion fell in all EU member states last year, at the same time as solar, wind and hydro generated more than 80 TWh more than it did in the previous year.

Natural gas usage was less clear cut, with 15 member states using a lower volume in 2020 while 12 either used the same amount or more.

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