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.

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The European Commission’s REPowerEU plan has the potential to significantly reduce Europe’s exposure to costly gas imports, according to the report.

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