Renewables already beat fossil fuels in the European Union

In the past few weeks I have been saying that renewables were ramping up fast and were now an unstoppable juggernaut. Now here is the latest piece of evidence, from Ember.

During the month of May, solar and wind power generated more electricity (30.6%) than fossil fuels (27.3%) in the European Union for the first time in history. The graph compiled by Ember is really impressive and shows an acceleration in the energy transition of the bloc :

One of the many things that strike me in this picture is how renewables went from around 10-15% of total electricity in 2015 to now over 30 percent. In the meantime, fossil fuels went from 40-50 percent to less than 30 percent. This is equally impressive.

The original article goes further, explaining that coal provided just a tenth of total electricity during the entire month, a mere 20 TWh. It was beat by solar, which provided 14% percent, or 27 TWh. 

And this might be only the beginning as European nations are starting to produce solar panels locally and en masse. With the European Solar Initiative, we could soon see 30 GW of solar PV panels production in Europe and 10 GW in France alone.

This would significantly slash the carbon footprint from solar as panels would be produced with lower embedded carbon and would not need to travel all the way from China in the first place.

I guess that with more energy efficiency / conservation / sufficiency – see my previous post on the European Union’s energy transition – the end of fossil fuels for electricity generation could happen even sooner. 

For more information, please check out the original research or go to Cleantechnica. Don’t you forget, the worse is still not certain and the bad guys have not won yet. Another Future is Possible !

Image credits : Sungrow EMEA.

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