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EU Solar Avoids €29 Billion in Gas Imports

A report by global energy think tank Ember Climate says a record summer of EU solar generation played a key role in avoiding potential fossil fuel imports of €29 billion. Between May and August, solar generated 12% of the EU’s total electricity, an increase of 9% from last summer, seeing it surpass wind (12%) and hydro (11%). Without the record 99 terawatt-hour of solar generation over the past four months, the EU would have had to purchase an additional 20 billion cubic metres of fossil gas, which based on daily gas prices would have roughly equated to €29 billion. This summer saw solar generation records broken in 18 of the 27 EU countries. The highest share was in the Netherlands (23%), followed by Germany (19%) and Spain (17%), with the largest increases by country from 2018 seen in Poland, which increased solar generation 26 times, followed by five-fold increases in Finland and Hungary. Paweł Czyżak, Ember’s Senior Energy & Climate Data Analyst, said: “It’s clear that we need as much solar power as we can get. The EU Parliament has the perfect opportunity to give it to us by adopting the 45% renewable energy target and putting Europe on a pathway towards 600 gigawatts of solar capacity or more by 2030.” 

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