Read

“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

About

We're a not-for-profit initiative advocating for topics that matter whilst innovating wider socio-ethical impact, planetary change and acknowledgement. 

 

We raise awareness for topics such as; sustainability, science, sentience, nature, environment, health, nutrition, mental health, mindfulness and more.

Why

In recent times, we have faced challenges unlike any in recorded human history, and as a collective are now faced with humanity's cumulative mistakes inherited from many generations.

The time for change is now. It is now time to acknowledge and adapt to a better, fairer and more sustainable way of living.

Founder | Ellis Jackson

Editor | Kate Byng-Hall

Europe: Renewable Energy Sources Overtook Fossil Fuels in 2020

Annie Grey celebrates as renewables overtake fossil fuels in supplying EU's electricity.

Photo by Luo Lei


Renewable sources overtook fossil fuels to become the EU’s main source of electricity for the first time in 2020, according to a report co-published by Ember and Agora Energiewendie.


This important environmental milestone was documented as fossil fuel usage in the EU decreased by 37 percent. Subsequently, the use of wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass provided 38 percent of the continent’s electricity, up from 34.6 percent in 2019.



The Rise of Renewables


In a year that witnessed pandemic restrictions temporarily reducing energy demand across Europe, the drop in supply mostly affected expensive power from fossil fuels. Gas generation dropped only 4 percent in 2020 despite the low energy demand reported, as it remained the cheapest form of fossil generation. Most of the fall in fossil fuels was in the use of coal rather than gas. Figures show gas usage is still 14 percent higher than in 2015, as Greece, the Netherlands, and Poland saw gas generation growth.


Coal generation, however, has halved since 2015, with a further 20 percent decline reported in the last year. Half of the drop was due to a decrease in electricity demand, which fell by 4 percent following the impact of the pandemic, and half was because of additional wind and solar resources.


The utilisation of wind and solar power, the largest factors in the clean-energy switch, rose 15 and nine percent respectively. However, as electricity demand bounces back in 2021, wind and solar will need to rise at a faster rate if the recent falls in coal usage are to be sustained.


The report suggested that wind and solar are “effectively replacing coal, rather than gas, across Europe currently”, which shows a need for increased focus on the reduction of gas usage. Nonetheless, the findings indicate that the EU’s electricity production was overall 29 percent cleaner last year than it was in 2015.



The EU’s Climate Target Plan


The EU Climate Target Plan proposes a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. This is a substantial increase in ambition compared to the previous target of at least 40%.


However, following the report’s findings, the energy transition is still too slow to achieve this, raising concerns as to whether the EU will be able to fulfil its 2030 target, and consequently reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Biomass growth has effectively “stalled” since 2018, according to think tanks. There hasn’t been much change in hydropower either – while generation was up from 2019, that was due to precipitation changes, rather than new installations.


The think tank, Ember, proposed that the EU will need to add 100 terawatt hours of renewable generation every year to achieve its 2030 target. Comparatively, wind and solar increased by 51 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2020 - well-above the 38 TWh/year average of the last decade - but renewable generation will need to almost triple to reach Europe’s 2030 target, according to the report.


Reassuringly, limited impact from Covid-19 was identified on the overall trend of moving from fossil fuels to renewables, proving the rise in renewable energy to be robust despite the economic repercussions of the pandemic. In fact, findings suggested that the fall in fossil-fired electricity could have been more dramatic, had it not been for such a bounce-back in demand.


To ensure steady progress, Dr. Patrick Graichen, Director of Agora Energiewende, stressed the need for strong climate policies, stating: “The economic recovery after the pandemic must not be allowed to slow down climate protection”.


Although Europe has reached this environmental milestone, the future of green power is at a crucial tipping point. At the start of a decade in which vital climate action will be fundamentally necessary, the continuation of rapid growth in wind and solar power is of the upmost importance in ensuring Europe gets on course to meet its 2030 Climate Targets.


Article on a similar topic: Germany Committing to Coal-Free Energy

We are a not for profit socio-ethical impact initiative advocating for topics that matter, whilst supporting wider planetary change and acknowledgement. Support our journalism by considering becoming an advocate from just £2.

The

Ethical 

Initiative

Name: The Truprint Group  Account: 37701460   

Sort code: 30-90-89

or PayPal

Our mission is to help society stay informed and much more

All proceeds generated go towards not-for-profit projects and initiatives

Our volunteers care about supporting 

people and the planet

Stay informed by subscribing today.

By subscribing, you're agreeing to our privacy policy.

Based in

  • Spotify
  • Twitter
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon

The informative hub for socio-ethical impact and acknowledgement.

Photo by Marina Vitale

Read. Listen. Advocate.

Powered by advocates

The Truprint Group ©

27 Old Gloucester Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1N 3AX 

Created by Tru. ©

Terms of Use & Privacy Policy

Company Number: 11188091

Terms, Conditions and Policies.

  • White Spotify Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon

Tru.

We are a project and trademark of The Truprint Group a Community Interest Company | CIC.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2017-2020