Europe Clean Power Sources Are On A Historic Roll Early 2024

It is well to be noted that a record 60% of Europe’s electricity was powered by clean energy sources in the first two months of 2024, pushed by strong year-on-year growth in hydro, solar as well as wind generation and a rebound in nuclear power production.

Overall clean electricity generation was at a record 516.5 terawatt hours in January 2024 and February, up 12% from the same period a year before that, the data from energy think tank Ember demonstrates.

It is worth noting that fossil fuel-powered electricity production happened to be at 351 TWh, which happens to be the lowest for that period since 2015 and less to more than 8% from the same months in 2023.

Coal-fired output throughout January and February fell almost 15% from the same period last year, while production from natural gas-fired plants went down 4%.

Clean Leaders

Nuclear facilities went on to remain the largest single source when it comes to clean power in Europe, thereby producing 172.5 terawatt hours- TWh of electricity.

That total happened to be 4.1% more than in the same months of last year but is the second lowest as far as the opening two months of the year are concerned since 2015, following Germany’s nuclear power plant closure in 2023 and enduring output issues as far as France is concerned.

Apparently, the hydroelectric dams happened to be the second largest source of Europe’s clean power, thereby generating 153 TWh of electricity, or a record 17.6% share when it comes to Europe’s overall electricity generation.

Overall hydroelectricity output was up almost 23% from the same period in 2023, all thanks to a robust output in Norway, Switzerland , France, and Portugal so far in 2024.

Notably, wind farms went on to generate a massive 137.5 TWh of electricity across the first two months of 2024, that happens to be up 14% from the same period last year.

Apart from this, solar-powered electricity generation also went on to scale a new high of 24.4 TWh, which was almost 19% higher than across the same months of 2023.

Glide Paths

The fact is that if Europe’s electricity generation from solar and wind farms continues to expand at the pace that’s been witnessed in recent years, teamed up solar and wind output may soon go on to overtake nuclear plants as the main source when it comes to clean power on the continent.

Total solar and wind generation put together has expanded by an average yearly pace of 11% every year since 2019, while nuclear output has contracted by almost 3% a year across the same period.

So far this year in 2024, almost 162 TWh of electricity generated due to wind and solar farms was nearly 15% more than what was during January and February last year and was only 7% less as compared to the total nuclear generation in 2024.

All this goes on to suggest that if the combination of solar and wind output expands by the same degree in early next year and nuclear generation at the same time also expands by the same amount as was seen in 2024, then the total solar plus wind electricity output can go on to surpass nuclear generation as soon as 2025.

The fact is that this kind of development would help push the overall clean electricity generation to pinnacle, may as well help the utilities make further slashes to fossil fuel-powered output, and also accelerate regional energy transition as well as pollution reduction efforts.