Europe’s power sector emissions plunged 24% in 2023 as renewables advanced

A wind farm combined with agriculture
Photo: Dreamstime

Greenhouse gas emissions regulated under the European Union’s emissions trading system (ETS) declined by a record 15.5% in 2023 thanks to a surge in clean energy installations, according to the European Commission.

The ETS covers emissions from 10,000 energy and manufacturing facilities in the bloc, plus some airline operations. It works on the ‘cap and trade’ principle, whereby limits on emission allowances are reduced each year. Companies can trade those allowances amongst themselves.

The latest: In 2023, emissions from electricity production plunged 24% year on year as rising output from wind and solar farms, alongside a recovery in hydro and nuclear output, crowded out coal and gas plants, the commission said in a statement.

According to data collated by Ember, renewables held a 44% share of the EU’s electricity mix in 2023, with fossil fuels accounting for less than one-third of output for the first time.

Meanwhile, in the energy intensive industrial sector, emissions were down 7% in 2023 due to reduced output and efficiency gains, the commission said.

On the other hand, aviation emissions were up 10% as the industry rebounded from travel disruptions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, ETS emissions have now declined 47% from 2005 levels, meaning the EU is “well on track” to achieve the 2030 target of a 62% reduction, the commission said.

“The observed trend confirms the effectiveness and efficiency of the EU’s cap and trade system as the main policy instrument for the decarbonisation of the European economy.”


Most Read

Related Articles

The share of fossil fuels in the nation's electricity mix has rapidly shrunk.
A pioneer of big batteries and other decarbonisation tech, the state aims to get to 100% net renewables within seven years.
The number of daily cycling journeys reached 1.26 million in 2023, up 20% from 2019, pre-Covid levels.
Hear from the policymakers behind Uruguay, Chile and South Australia’s rapid energy transitions, among others.
China, Brazil, and the Netherlands are achieving rapid power sector transformations thanks to these three traits.
The vouchers are saving 170,000 miles in car trips a week and 3,300 tonnes of emissions annually.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *