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What are Europe’s major clean energy sources?

The percentage of overall net energy usage produced by renewable sources in the European Union (EU) is constantly growing year after year. Renewable energy generated just under a third (32%) of all electricity consumed in 2018, up from 31% in 2017.


In 2018, wind power (36 per cent) and hydropower (33 per cent) both supplied over one-third of the total electricity generated from renewable energy sources, with wind power (36 per cent) edging out hydropower (33 per cent). Solar energy (12%), solid biofuels (10%), and other renewable sources accounted for the remaining one-third (9 per cent).


The increase in energy produced from clean energy is primarily due to rising in wind energy, as well as solar power and solid biofuels (including renewable wastes), whereas the energy provided from hydroelectricity has remained relatively constant over the last ten years.

Austria (73 per cent), Sweden (66 per cent), Denmark (62 per cent), Latvia (53 per cent), and Portugal (53 per cent) all produced another half of their electricity from renewable sources in 2018. (52 per cent). Hydropower, which produces well over three-fourths (77%) of the electricity consumed in Austria and more than two-thirds (69%) in Sweden, is primarily responsible for the high share of renewables in electricity generation in Austria and Sweden.


In Hungary and Malta (both 8%), as well as Cyprus and Luxembourg, fewer than 10% of electricity was generated from renewable sources (both 9 per cent)


Renewable energy output outperformed fossil fuel production in Europe

In 2020, renewable energy surpassed fossil fuels as the largest source of electricity in the European Union for the first time. In the previous year, Germany and Spain each reached that threshold, as did the United Kingdom, which officially departed the EU in January 2020.

From a report released by energy think tanks Ember and Agora Energiewende, alternative energy sources generated 38 per cent of electricity in the EU in 2019. This puts green energy in a tight race with fossil-fuel-fired generating, which accounted for 37% of Europe’s electricity. Nuclear energy accounts for the remaining quarter.


In Europe’s clean energy transition, an important milestone”

Renewable energy is on the rise, which is excellent for the planet’s health. Still, if to avoid further climate-related tragedies in the future, renewable energy will have to expand much quicker.


The European Union has successfully formed a target of nearly reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 (relative to 1990 levels) and annihilating them by 2050. This is consistent with what UN scientists estimate will be required to keep climate change under control. 


The surge in renewables in 2019

In 2019, wind and solar energy led to the surge in renewables, while other carbon-free energy sources, such as hydropower, remained unchanged. In 2020, combined wind and solar generation increase by 10%.


Coal production, on the other contrary, fell by a staggering 20% In 2019. According to the report, new wind and solar capacity accounted for about half of the decline. During the COVID-19 epidemic, an increase in natural gas demand was offset by a decrease in electricity demand. As a result, coal production in 2020 was almost half of what it was in 2015. Nuclear energy production declined drastically as well. According to the analysis, nuclear energy will continue to decline as more countries phase down their reactors.


Long story short, in 2020, Europe’s power was 29 per cent cleaner than it was five years ago with wind and solar energy driving the growth while forms of carbon-free energy, like hydropower, remained the same. Together, wind and solar generation saw an increase of 10 per cent in 2020.