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Renewables generated more electricity than coal in the EU for the first time ever in 2019, driving the sharpest reduction in the European power sector’s carbon emissions in three decades, according to a new report.
Solar and wind generated more electricity than coal across Europe last year, according to The European Power Sector in 2019 report published by London-based non-profit group Sandbag and German thinktank Agora Energiewende.
Coal-fired generation plunged 24% across the EU in 2019, driving a 12% reduction in the power sector’s CO2 emissions – the biggest decline seen since 1990.
Dave Jones, an electricity analyst for Sandbag, highlighted the “urgent” push across Europe away from coal. Given thermal power still accounts for 30% of global fossil fuel emissions, said Jones, Europe is a “test bed” for the replacement of coal with solar and wind power capacity.
“Europe is leading the world on rapidly replacing coal generation with wind and solar,” said Jones. “As a result, power sector CO2 emissions have never fallen so quickly.”