Renewable Energy 44.7% of EU Electricity Production in 2023 — Now #1!

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Eurostat has now released electricity data from 2023, and it shows that 44.7% of EU electricity production came from renewable energy sources last year!* Fossil gas (aka “natural gas”) production was down, a lot. Coal production was down even more. Even production from oil and petroleum products (already quite low) was down. Meanwhile, of course, renewable energy production was up! Clearly, in Europe, renewable energy is now winning.

And this is a crossover year, because in 2022, electricity production from fossil fuels was higher than electricity production from renewable energy sources (by a smidge). Let’s get to some graphs and more actual stats now — just note the difference between supply and production with these.

Looking at supply stats for 2023 vs. 2022:

  • Brown coal supply down by 24.2%, to 222,840 million tonnes
  • Hard coal supply down by 20.4%, to 130,437 million tonnes
  • Fossil gas supply down by 7.4%, to 12.8 million terajoules (TJ)
  • Oil/petroleum electricity supply down 1.5%, to 526,862 thousand tonnes
  • Renewables supply increased 4.4%, up to 10.9 million TJ.

Looking at production stats for 2023 vs. 2022:

  • Electricity production from fossil fuels decreased by 19.7%, to 0.88 million gigawatt-hours (GWh), or 32.5% of total EU electricity production.
  • Electricity production from renewables increased by 12.4%, to 1.21 million gigawatt-hours (GWh), or 44.7% of total EU electricity production.
  • Electricity production from nuclear energy increased by 1.2%, to 0.62 million gigawatt-hours (GWh), or 22.8% of total EU electricity production.

Regarding that second graph above, you can see the sharp drop in fossil fuel electricity production year over year and the strong rise in renewable energy electricity production. The crossover has happened, and there’s no looking back — renewables will produce more electricity than fossil fuels in the EU forever after. And the crossover year left nothing in doubt by leaving the gap at 44.7% versus 32.5%. Renewables blew past fossil fuels at a rapid pace!

Nuclear remained relatively stable, just rising slightly year over year, but this is after a pretty big drop from 2021 to 2022 and earlier from 2019 to 2020. With how much fossil fuel electricity production dropped last year, you could even envision that line dropping further and further in the next couple of years and have a crossover year with nuclear. Maybe. We’ll see.

I know we just got the 2023 data, but it was so positive that I’m already excited to see the 2024 data!

*Big hat tip to CleanTechnica reader Pedro Rosmaninho for sharing this news and the underlying report with us!

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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