New record for solar and wind energy generation in EU in 2022

The wind and solar energy build-out led to a record-setting year for renewable energy in Europe.
Photo: Jens Dresling
Photo: Jens Dresling

Wind turbines and solar panels accounted for a record share of power generation in Europe last year.

New figures from energy think tank Ember show that wind and solar energy accounted for a little more than a fifth of electricity generated in EU nations in 2022.

European wind and solar facilities generated 22% of electricity in the EU and surpassed fossil gas, which accounted for 20% of electricity generation.

”Europe has avoided the worst of the energy crisis,” remarks Head of Data Insights at Ember Dave Jones in a press release.

By numerous indications, 2022 had been shaping up to become a critical year for European energy supply as Russia reduced gas supplies in the wake of invading Ukraine.

For some time, there were record-low water levels in Norwegian reservoirs while France’s nuclear power plants experienced major performance issues and had to operate on lower capacity.

One solution was to ramp up coal imports, which rose by 22 million tonnes last year.

However, only a third of the extra coal was needed in 2022.

Most of the energy shortfall caused by gas, water and nuclear power shortages ended up being offset by the record build-out of wind and solar energy, according to Ember.

20 EU nations set new records for solar-generated power, which also rose by 24% in total across all EU nations.

Another contributing factor to averting the energy crisis was EU residents reducing their power consumption on the whole.

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