Nearly Four Fifths Of Europe’s Electricity could be Fossil Fuel Free by the Turn of the Decade

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Up to 80 per cent of Europe has the potential to be fossil fuel free by the end of this decade.

A recent report from the European utility federation Eurelectric has suggested that carbon dioxide emissions are decreasing a lot faster than expected from the energy sector.

It found that in 2019, the electricity generated from coal decreased by 3 per cent, this drop in turn led to a 2 per cent drop in carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector. The decrease in carbon dioxide emissions and coal fired electricity generation are the largest decreases since 1990. However, even though coal has fallen in Europe and the United States, coal fired electricity has risen in China making it responsible for around 50 per cent of the total coal fired electricity generation. Carbon intensity is now 15 per cent less than what it was in 2010.

The researchers also discovered that solar power and wind power generation rose by 15 per cent in 2019, contributing 8 per cent to the total global electricity output.

Critics are happy with the progress being made with the decreased use of coal fired power generation due to the benefits towards climate change however they still believe that governments need to do more to aid the energy transition process to ensure that global coal fired power generation collapses throughout this decade.

Switching from coal fired power electricity to gas fired power electricity is only substituting one fossil fuel for another and only delays the problem. The most efficient way for a green transition is thought to be through the mass roll out of wind and solar power to put an end to the coal generation.

The EU is making the most promising progress with 18 per cent of electricity coming from wind or solar, the US has 11 per cent whilst China and India are on 9 and 8 per cent respectively.

Researchers have also found that 66 per cent of the electricity generated across Europe for the first half of 2020 was carbon free. Renewable energy covered around 40 per cent of the mix whilst fossil fuels decreased to about 18 per cent.

Eurelectric believes that by the end of this decade, another 12 European countries will be coal free. Making a total of 21 coal free nations in Europe by 2030.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year has proven how critical the power sector is in this day and age as it provides the electricity for our hospitals, offices, households and government offices. This shows how important it is that a fast clean and reliable transition is made into the renewable future.

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