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Emissions down as Europe’s electricity comes back cleaner from pandemic lows

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

new analysis by climate group Ember, finds that European Union electricity use is almost back to its pre-pandemic levels, but the bloc's use of fossil fuels to generate power has not returned nearly as much.

Some of the key findings from the report are 

Fossil fuels fail to recover as renewables growElectricity demand was back to pre-pandemic levels, but fossil fuels are not. Emissions were 12% lower.

Coal’s structural decline continues. Coal generation was 16% lower (-36TWh) in H1-2021 than in H1-2019.

Clean power growth resilient but insufficient. Two-thirds of EU power was clean in H1-2021, but year-on-year progress must double to meet EU climate targets. 

Fossil power costs skyrocket. It is now twice as expensive to generate electricity from existing fossil gas & hard coal power plants than new wind & solar.

“Now the pandemic effect on the power sector has passed, the overall trend is clear: fossil fuels are in rapid decline as Europe cleans up its power sector. But progress is nowhere near fast enough to meet the EU’s own emissions target, let alone reach 100% clean electricity by 2035. There’s never been a better time to accelerate the transition to wind and solar with the costs of sticking with fossils painfully clear.” Ember European Programme Lead Charles Moore said in a statement.

Source: Ember