Europe’s Fossil Fuel Use Is Set to Plummet in 2023

As the European Union focuses on renewable energy sources to replace Russia’s energy supply, the amount of electricity generated from fossil fuels is expected to plummet.

According to Ember, an energy think tank based in the UK, total fossil generation could fall by 20% this year. Natural gas-fired generation, which is relatively costly, will be the most affected.

After Russia cut the gas flow in the aftermath of its invasion, Europe raced to find other energy sources. This sent energy prices soaring. A decrease in nuclear and hydropower led to increased dependence on fossil fuels and an increase in greenhouse gases.

However, solar and wind power filled in a lot of the gap. They produced a record 22% EU electricity last year, surpassing gas for the first time.

In 2022, EU Solar and Wind Power overtook Gas in Power Mix

It stated that there is now a focus on rapidly reducing gas demand, while at the same time phasing out carbon. This means that clean energy will be radically increased.

Ember projects that nuclear generation will remain relatively flat in 2023 due to the ongoing phase-out of German reactors and the return of French units. After a drought that lasted for decades, hydropower should increase by 40 terawatt hours this year.

The fourth quarter of 2022 saw a drop in energy demand of around 8% due to high power costs, as compared with the previous year. It is possible that this trend will continue and contribute to a significant decline in fossil fuel consumption in 2023.

However, CO2 emissions from electricity are still at a low level since 2019 and will continue to decline in 2019.

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