Electricity generation from wind and solar energy exceeded coal-fired generation in European Union for the first time in 2019, according to a new report on Wednesday.
London-based energy and climate think tank Sandbag, in partnership with the German think-tank Agora Energiewende, released a new report entitled The European Power Sector in 2019, which presented the latest insights on Europe's electricity transition.
In 2019, wind and solar provided 18% of total electricity generation in the EU, while coal provided just 15%, the report said.
"Only five years ago, the EU generated twice as much from coal as it did from wind and solar. In just one year, coal generation fell 24% in the EU, and is now less than half the level in 2007. This led to a 12% fall in European power sector carbon dioxide emissions in 2019 alone, the biggest fall since at least 1990," the report highlighted.
According to the report, half of the coal was replaced by wind and solar, and half was replaced with gas.
- Europe's coal to clean transition looks set to accelerate
In 2019, wind capacity is estimated to have expanded by around 14 GW, the second-highest amount on record, and solar by around 17 GW, double last year's rate.
Last year, two more European countries have committed to phase-out coal, bringing the total countries coal-free by 2030 to 20 out of 28 countries. Greece and Hungary will cease generating electricity from coal by 2028 and 2030 respectively.
"Europe is leading the world on rapidly replacing coal generation with wind and solar, and as a result, power sector carbon dioxide emissions have never fallen so quickly," said Dave Jones, Electricity Analyst at Sandbag.
"Europe has become a testbed for replacing coal with wind and solar power, and the fast results should give reassurance to other countries that they can rapidly phase out coal too," Jones added.
By Firdevs Yuksel