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Wind and solar surpass nuclear and gas to top European electricity sources in 2022.

For first time ever. And thanks to The Netherlands

According to think tank Ember, in 2022, wind and solar supplied more of the European Union’s (EU) electricity than any other power source for the first time ever, reaching over a fifth (22%) of total supply. Other sources of low-carbon energy took hits: hydroelectric was hobbled by historic droughts, and an unexpectedly high number of French nuclear reactors had to be taken offline for maintenance. Meanwhile, mild weather and public efforts to reduce energy use kept demand lower than in 2021. The end result: Europe did not return to coal in a big way to replace gas supplies.

The fall in coal power this winter was due to a major decrease in electricity demand. This can be attributed to the efforts of households and industry to reduce electricity consumption, combined with mild weather. And windy.

Europe faced its worst drought in at least 500 years, pushing hydro generation to its lowest level since at least 2000. The Alpine region was the worst hit, with the lowest year so far this century. The Iberian region saw the fourth lowest level of hydro generation this century, and the Nordic region saw generation slightly above average.

Nuclear EU power fell by 16% (119 TWh) in 2022. A record number of French nuclear reactors went offline, resulting in the lowest output in 30 years. Germany’s nuclear generation almost halved from 69 TWh in 2021 to 37 TWh in 2022, following units closing.

Solar set generation records across Europe. It rose by 39 TWh (+24%), which was almost double the rise of any year so far. As hydro generation fell short due to the drought and nuclear output was cut because of water temperature constraints, solar reliably delivered.

The Netherlands was the unquestionable solar energy leader of 2022, generating 14% of its electricity from the sun and surpassing previous leader Spain, typically a much sunnier country. The Netherlands has demonstrated how simple and effective policies drive solar growth. Since 2020, it has been supporting residential solar through net-metering. This enabled a rapid expansion of rooftop solar

The Netherlands also announced a rapid offshore wind expansion plan.

The report also indicates that EV sales are high and rising, and hydrogen electrolysers saw a step change in 2022.

Click at the image below to read more and download the 79 pages complete and detailed report.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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