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Fossil fuels made up less than a third of the EU’s electricity mix in 2023 as renewables advanced

An aerial view of Paris at night. France and the rest of the EU is now powered mostly by clean electricity.
Paris at dusk. Photo: Vichaya Kiatyingangsulee/Dreamstime

In 2023, renewables were the largest source of electricity in the EU, accounting for 44.7% of the bloc’s mix, according to Eurostat.

Nuclear plants comprised 22.8% of electrical output — a slight increase despite Germany’s phasing out of the technology — meaning all clean sources combined provided more than two-thirds of the EU’s power supply.

On the other hand, electricity generated from fossil fuels was down by a fifth (19.7%) compared with the previous year, driving their share of the mix down to just 32.5%.

In an earlier assessment, the European Commission found that emissions from electricity production in the EU plunged 24% year on year thanks to the growing contribution from wind and solar farms and a recovery in hydro and nuclear generation.

The transformation of the EU’s electricity mix continued into the new year, with the share of fossil fuels falling to a historic monthly low of just 23% in April 2024, according to data collated by Ember.

The EU’s rapid shift to clean electricity means it’s now nearly in line with global climate targets, a recent analysis by Climate Action Tracker found. The bloc’s emissions trajectory is now consistent with limiting global temperature rise to a little above 2°C by the end of the century.

Tags: Renewable energy

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