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EU electricity is produced more by renewables than by fossil fuels.

According to a new report released Thursday by the energy think tank Ember, renewable energy sources produced 40% of the electricity used in the European Union during the winter, surpassing fossil fuels, which accounted for 37% of the total.

The energy crisis caused a “crisis winter” from October 2022 to March 2023, during which power demand decreased by 7%, causing a 12% decrease in fossil fuel generation from the previous winter and preventing a return to fossil fuels.

Compared to the winter before, there was a 4% increase in electricity produced from renewable sources.

With rising energy prices and supply issues brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe experienced a crisis winter. The EU made it through those challenging months. Still, it cannot rely on unexpected demand decreases and favorable weather in the coming years, according to Chris Rosslowe, an analyst at Ember. “The EU must break its dependence on fossil fuels as soon as possible to maintain a stable power supply.”

In contrast to “fears that EU countries might turn to coal generation” as the EU shied away from Russian gas, the analysis found that over the winter, electricity generation from coal fell by 11% and gas by 13%.

If it weren’t for the prolonged outages in France’s nuclear fleet, Ember said that coal and gas production would have decreased much more.

Of the 18 countries still using coal to generate electricity in the EU, 15 cut their output throughout the winter.

The largest coal-producing nations in the EU, Poland, and Germany, were responsible for 70% of the decline in coal-based electricity production in the EU this winter.

The remaining three nations that experienced an increase in coal-based energy production were Italy, Finland, and Hungary.

According to Ember’s calculations, the EU’s decreased demand over the winter resulted in electricity savings of €12 billion ($13.2 billion).

“Total EU electricity demand was down 6% on the five-year average, saving €12 billion worth of electricity over winter,” the research stated.

The data shows that EU nations reduced their peak power demand by 5%, with Ireland being the only country to see a spike in peak demand.

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