Renewable Energy Overtaking Fossil Fuel in Europe

Progress of EU energy and climate policy and EU’s broader goal of transition towards clean energy is measured through The State of the Energy Union report, adopted by the European Commission.

The State of the Energy Union report highlights that renewable energy is overtaking fossil fuel and  2020 was the first time in the history of EU that  38% of electricity was generated by renewables compared to 37% of the electricity generated by the fossil fuels. Most of the European Union members are committed to phasing out of the coal. Nine members have already phased out the coal, whereas thirteen members have made commitment to do so by a certain date.        

Transition towards clean energy is imperative to EU’s energy security. EU is dependent on the energy import and is vulnerable to an increase in the energy prices. Due to increasing gas prices, Energy price spiked across the Europe, leading to the highest level of energy dependency in thirty years.  Rising energy prises impacts social inclusion and give rise to energy poverty. According to the report, energy poverty affected approx. thirty-one million people in the EU.

Continued decarbonisation trends and reduced energy consumption due to pandemic, led to reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 31 % compared to 1990 and fossil fuel subsidies declined to EUR 52 billion in 2020, from EUR 56 billion in 2019.

The five pillars of the Energy Union are accelerating decarbonisation with the EU Emission Trading System (ETS), scaling up energy efficiency, enhancing energy security, research, innovation and competitiveness. EU Emissions Trading System is the world’s first major carbon market and cornerstone of the EU’s policy to combat climate change.

To ensure that Europe achieves its climate related objectives, adoption of the European Climate Law and of the Delivering the European Green Deal package proposed by the Commission during 2021 are major steps, providing a framework for achieving its objectives. Further, EUR 76 billion is allocated to investments and reforms in energy efficiency and clean energy out of total of EUR 445 billion of Recovery and Resilience Facility funds allocated to Member States.

A significant chunk of energy is purchased by EU members from the Russia. In order to reduce energy dependency, a group of ten countries i.e. France, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania, urged the European Commission to include nuclear energy as the green sources of power. Some of these countries will be developing Nuclear power plants with the support of modern Russian technology. Given the various developments, better picture will emerge in future however the trend is evident that Renewable will be replace fossil fuel in many parts of the world in near future, as is happening in Europe.

Bureau Galactik Views

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