Renewables accounted for more than half of European power generation in 2024 so far

The bloc is aiming to nearly triple its solar capacity this decade.

This is according to Eurelectric’s Electricity Data Platform (ELDA), which analyses data primarily sourced from ENTSO-E transparency platform for hourly data, Eurostat for monthly data, and annual data from Eurostat with updates made based on previous year comparisons due to publication delays.

According to the research findings, nearly 74% of electricity produced in the EU during the first half of 2024 originated from renewable and low-carbon sources. This marks an increase from the 68% share recorded in 2023.

The surge in clean energy adoption has been attributed to a substantial influx of renewables into the grid and the stable performance of existing nuclear power facilities.

Eurelectric’s secretary general Kristian Ruby said: “The pace of change is impressive. These figures document that the decarbonisation efforts of electricity companies are years ahead of any other sector.”

Despite these achievements on the supply side, concerns persist regarding the need to stimulate electricity demand.

The report highlights that demand for electricity in Europe has remained subdued, declining by 4.8% in the first half of 2024 compared to the same period in 2022. This fall has been attributed to factors such as industry relocating abroad, warmer temperatures, energy savings and slow economic growth.

Ruby added: “Years of stagnation in electricity demand have now turned into a regular decline.

“Policymakers must urgently support the uptake of electricity to provide the necessary investment signals for clean generation.”

Eurelectric has called upon the new European Commission to introduce an Electrification Action Plan within the first 100 days of its mandate, emphasising a 35% electrification indicative target for 2030.

The organisation is also advocating for the inclusion of clear electrification indicators in national energy and climate plans (NECPs) across EU member states to drive progress, sustain investments in renewable energy sector and ensure alignment with climate goals.

EU remains off track to achieve net-zero goals

Last year, a McKinsey report revealed that the EU is currently off track to achieve a net-zero energy system by 2050 and faces challenges in meeting its energy security goals under RePowerEU.

The bloc is aiming to nearly triple its solar capacity this decade, increasing from 209 gigawatts (GW) in 2022 to 600GW by 2030.

The report advises EU policymakers to prioritise creating resilient supply chains for critical low-carbon technologies, expanding energy grid infrastructure, reassessing land use to strategically accelerate renewable development, updating power market regulations to align with cost and environmental targets, and enhancing affordability of clean technologies.

Another report suggests that the EU could take cues from the UK, where energy regulator Ofgem has recently introduced new rules to accelerate electricity grid connections for viable projects while filtering out speculative and unfeasible ones from the queue.

Spain, Italy, and France collectively have nearly 200GW of projects awaiting grid connection, with a similar challenge at hand in Eastern Europe, particularly in Poland and Romania.

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