Europe's winter energy crisis curbs coal demand
Driving the news: A report by think-tank Ember found that coal generation in Europe fell by 11% (-27 TWh) during the winter of 2022 (Oct. - Mar.), due to warmer weather and soaring energy prices.
- 15 out of the 18 European Union (EU) countries that still use coal for power reduced their coal generation (vs 5-year average).
Why it matters for the planet: Europe's power mix did not experience a steep rebound in coal usage, despite the continent's worst energy crisis in 40 years due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
- The reduction in coal and gas generation contributed to the lowest winter emissions in the EU power sector's history.
- Renewables accounted for 40% of EU generation over the winter with fossil fuels at 37%.
What’s next: Europe must learn from the measures taken during this difficult winter and continue the transition away from fossil fuels. Sustainably maintaining demand reductions and focusing on demand flexibility will be crucial for the future of Europe's power system.
One stat: Total EU electricity demand was down 6% on the five-year average, saving €12 billion worth of electricity over winter (source: Ember)
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