Jul 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Report: European power demand outpaces fossil fuels

Reproduced from an Ember report; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from an Ember report; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new analysis finds that European Union electricity use is almost back to its pre-pandemic levels, but the bloc's use of fossil fuels to generate power has not returned nearly as much.

The big picture: The data, via the environmental think tank Ember, reveal a mixed verdict of sorts for the EU's efforts to decarbonize.

  • It shows renewables' ongoing rise and finds that it's now far more expensive to generate power from existing coal and gas plants than new wind and solar projects.
  • But the group also notes that the trajectory of power sector emissions is inconsistent with the EU's economy-wide climate law, which seeks to cut greenhouse gases 55% below 1990 levels by 2030.

The bottom line: "Fossil fuels are in rapid decline as Europe cleans up its power sector. But progress is nowhere near fast enough to meet the EU's own emissions target, let alone reach 100% clean electricity by 2035," Ember analyst Charles Moore said in a statement.

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