Record renewable energy in Europe

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Portugal has announced that it has set a new record for renewable energy production in 2023. They provided 61 % of the electricity consumed in the Pyrenean country, the national energy network operator (REN) said. While total electricity consumption reached its highest level since 2018, non-renewable energy accounted for only 19 % of this consumption, as Portugal imported 20 % of the electricity it needs in 2023.

To elaborate, with a total of 31.2 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable energy, wind produced 25 % of the electricity consumed in Portugal last year, ahead of hydroelectricity (23 %), photovoltaics (7 %) and biomass (6 %), according to a REN press release.

More dams and solar, less gas

In terms of growth, hydroelectricity generation showed the biggest increase (+70 %) after a year of drought in 2022. Photovoltaics (+43 %), favored by the gradual increase in installed capacity, follows in the list of the largest production gains.

In contrast, consumption of natural gas, which is imported by sea mainly from Nigeria (42 %) and the US (40 %), fell by 21 % over the year, reaching its lowest level since 2014.

Germany passes the 50 % renewable energy mark

In Germany, 2023 is also associated with strong growth in renewables. In 2023, clean energy sources will "cover 52 % of electricity consumption" in the country, up five points from last year, BDEW, the German trade organization for the power and water industry, said in a statement.

"This is the first time this figure has exceeded the 50 % mark," the organization added with satisfaction. According to BDEW, electricity consumption from renewable sources was particularly high at 59 % in July.

These figures were achieved in particular thanks to an increase in renewable energy production, which rose by 6 % compared to last year. Offshore wind power in particular had a "record" year, increasing by 13.4 %, which offset a significant drop in offshore wind power production, which fell by 8.6 %. Photovoltaic production grew by 4.6 % and even reached an "historic" high of 113.5 billion kilowatt-hours in June. The share of coal, which rose last year amid the cutoff of Russian gas supplies to Germany due to the war in Ukraine, fell to 26 % in 2023 from 31.6 % in 2022. Between January and September 2022, the production of solar cell modules grew by 44 % year-on-year after a 75 % increase in the same period in 2021.

As a reminder, the German government has set a target of 80 % of electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2030. To achieve this goal, it has allocated billions of euros to invest in the green transition of the economy. The greening of the energy sector goes beyond Germany. In mid-September, MEPs passed a law nearly doubling the share of renewables in EU energy consumption by 2030, which 27 countries have already approved at the cost of an exemption for nuclear-generated hydrogen to please Paris.

Record figures from Portugal and Germany show that renewables are becoming an increasingly important part of Europe's energy sector. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years as EU countries seek to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

Jonathan Rowe

Jonathan Rowe

The creator and main author of the site is Jonathan Rowe. Trader and investor with many years of experience. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with over a decade of experience developing applications for financial and investment institutions.

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