Goodbye gas-fired power generation? In fact, in 2022, the EU region produced more electricity from wind and sun than from gas – as a result, it was possible to reduce dependence on Russian gas as far as possible.
In 2022, the EU region produced more electricity from wind and solar than from gas for the first time. According to an analysis by the think tank Ember Climate, around 22 percent of electricity in the EU came from solar and wind power last year, which is proportionally more than ever before. Gas, on the other hand, accounted for almost 20 percent of the EU’s electricity mix – just under one percentage point less than in 2021. According to Ember Climate, a total of 623 terawatt hours (TWh) came from wind and solar power last year.
Netherlands is greentech leader in solar energy
According to the think tank’s figures, Germany generated the most wind and solar energy in 2022 – 126 terawatt hours from wind and 59 terawatt hours from solar. However, the shares of wind and solar energy in Germany’s electricity mix were lower compared with other EU countries: in terms of generation from solar, the Netherlands led the way with 14 percent of the total electricity mix, followed by Greece and Hungary (both 13 percent). Germany generates just under 10 percent of its electricity from solar, according to the figures.
With more than 50 percent of its power coming from wind, Denmark leads the way, according to Ember Climate. It is followed by Lithuania with nearly 40 percent and Ireland with about 35 percent. Germany’s share is around 20 percent.
Gas purchases of ten billion euros avoided
According to the analysis, the EU produced 203 terawatt hours of electricity from solar last year, 39 terawatt hours more than in 2021, an increase of 24 percent. That was double the previous record, it said. According to the calculations, this avoided gas purchases of around ten billion euros. According to the report, 20 of the 27 EU countries produced more solar energy in 2022 than ever before. Among others, Germany, Spain and Poland made the most progress in ramping up solar plants.
From wind, meanwhile, the EU produced 420 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2022 – 33 more than in 2021. „The increase in wind energy was driven by significant gains in Germany, as well as in Sweden and Poland,“ the analysis says.
„The crisis has undoubtedly accelerated the power transition in Europe,“ commented Ember’s data expert Dave Jones. He added that the energy transition is emerging stronger from the energy crisis.