Wind and Solar Overtake Coal in EU

Climate think-tank Sandbag's sixth annual report, “The European Power Sector in 2019” highlights the rise in EU solar and wind, which overtook coal for the first time in 2019.

In conjunction with German think-tank, Agora Energiewende, ‘The European Power Sector in 2019‘ published by Sandbag, is accompanied with the byline ‘Coal collapses, overtaken by wind and solar’.

Key statistics from the report…

In 2019, wind and solar provided 18% (569TWh) of EU electricity, whilst coal fell to just 15% (469TWh). Only five years ago, the EU generated twice as much from coal as it did from wind and solar.

Image & data from Sandbag.

In just one year, coal generation fell 24% in the European Union, and is now less than half the level in 2007. This led to a 12% fall in European power sector CO2 emissions in 2019 alone – the biggest fall since at least 1990.

Many countries in western Europe saw significantly larger year-on-year falls while eastern Europe lagged behind. Half of the coal was replaced by wind & solar, and half was replaced with gas. Wind and solar generation rose because of new capacity installations, and gas generation rose as higher CO2 prices and low gas prices boosted the competitiveness of gas power plants in relation to coal generation.

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