Relentless heat and drought have dried up waterways that provide hydropower, another key alternative to gas and coal power.
Solar energy production in summer in Europe increased by 28% compared to 2021.
This is discussed in the article Bloomberg.
Solar panels produced about 12% of electricity in the EU from May to August. According to Ember’s analysis, this energy would cost 29 billion euros ($28.9 billion) if it were produced in natural gas-fired power plants.
This has saved the continent from even greater dependence on expensive fossil fuels in the face of the worst energy crisis in decades.
“The investment in solar power has paid off. Every terawatt-hour of solar power has helped reduce gas consumption, saving billions for European citizens. It is clear that we need as much solar power as we can get,” said Pavel Chizak, analyst at Ember.
Ember’s analysis showed that during the summer months, solar generation reached 99.4 terawatt-hours, up 28% from a year earlier. This saved about 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas for electricity generation.
New solar farms are expected to spring up across Europe at such a pace that the electricity they generate will break records every summer for at least the next decade.
It is also noted that this summer, demand has risen sharply, as Europe was hit by a heat wave. Relentless heat and drought have dried up waterways that provide hydropower, another key alternative to gas and coal power. Most of France’s nuclear reactors have been shut down for maintenance, depriving the grid of another of the continent’s most important sources of low-carbon electricity.