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The EU got more than 50% of its electricity from renewables in first half of 2024

An aerial view of tulip fields that include renewable energy facilities - specidically wind and solar.
A multi-purpose farm in the Netherlands. Photo: Dreamstime

Renewables accounted for 50.4% of the European Union’s electricity generation in the first six months of 2024, data from industry association Eurelectric shows.

That’s a sharp increase from calendar year 2023, when renewables comprised 44.7% of the bloc’s mix, according to Eurostat.

“The pace of change is impressive,” Eurelectric secretary general Kristian Ruby said in a statement.

When including nuclear, 74% of the EU’s power came from low-carbon sources in the first half — up from 68% in 2023.

Yes, but: The association said demand continues to decline, reflecting sluggish economic growth, warmer temperatures, energy savings, and industry relocating abroad.

This trend must be reversed “to provide the necessary investment signals for clean generation,” Ruby said.

With this in mind, Eurelectric wants the new European Commission to propose an Electrification Action Plan that seeks to boost the share of electricity in final energy consumption to 35% by 2030. This would entail a faster shift to electric vehicles, heat pumps, and industrial decarbonisation technologies, among other things.

Failure to act could see the EU miss its climate targets and waste more renewable power, while sparking a slowdown in investments in generating capacity, the association said.

Meanwhile, a separate data release showed that renewables accounted for 58% of electricity consumption in Germany in the first half of the year.

That’s up from 52% in the same period a year before, according to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW).

“This is the reward for the persistent expansion of wind energy and photovoltaics in recent years,” said Kerstin Andreae, chair of BDEW.

Andreae said Germany needed to expand its electricity grid and storage capacity to maintain the momentum. It should also build hydrogen-capable gas-fired power plants.

“This new record underlines that an efficient, reliable, secure and greenhouse gas-neutral power supply based on almost 100% renewable energies, including hydrogen, is not only achievable in Germany by 2035, but also offers a stable foundation for industry on its way to climate-neutral production,” said Frithjof Staiß, managing director of ZSW.

Tags: Battery storage, Eurelectric, Kristian Ruby, Renewable energy, Renewables

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