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Wind, Solar Generate Third of EU Electricity

Less than a quarter of the EU’s electricity (23%) was produced from fossil fuels last month, marking a historic decline, energy think tank Ember has reported. Data it released this week showed the has EU reached a major milestone in its electricity transition, spearheaded by wind and solar energy, which helped generate more than a third (34%) of its electric power. This beat the previous record of 31% reached in May last year, while other renewable energy sources also helped produce over half (54%) of the EU’s electricity last month. The transition from fossil fuels to solar and wind has continued to gather pace in 2024, Ember said, with coal and gas use falling sharply. In April, coal generation contributed just 8.6% to the EU’s electricity mix – a 30% drop compared to the same month last year – while gas provided only 12.1% – representing a 22% year-on-year decline. Among EU countries, Germany saw the largest fall in fossil fuel generation with a 26% drop, followed by Italy (24%). Despite a recovery in electricity demand, EU power sector emissions were down 18% year-on-year between January and April, largely due to renewables progressively displacing fossil fuels. “The once unthinkable is happening before our eyes,” said Sarah Brown, Ember’s Europe Programme Director. “Fossil fuels are on the way out of Europe’s power sector. Solar and wind have stepped up as the main players, proving they are ready to take on their role as the backbone of the modern clean electricity system.”

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