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Wind energy surpasses gas in electricity generation in the European Union in 2023

In a first for the European Union (EU), wind energy has surpassed gas, with more of it being used to generate energy in 2023.

In a win for the renewable energy sector, wind energy produced 18 percent of the electricity generated last year, compared with 17% for gas. Combined with solar energy, the two renewable sources created 27% of the EU’s electricity, which is the first time it has ever generated more than a quarter. This is an increase from 2022, where wind energy generated 13% of all electricity.

“The EU’s power sector is in the middle of a monumental shift,” says Sarah Brown, Ember’s Europe programme director. “Fossil fuels are playing a smaller role than ever as a system with wind and solar as its backbone comes into view.”

This is great news for the EU, as they battle to cut their greenhouse gas usage by 90% by 2040.

Some countries are leading the way in renewable wind power. With 58% of its electricity coming from turbines, Denmark’s wind production exceeds any other OEDC (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) country per capita.

Demand for electricity is set to soar in the coming years, particularly as more eco-friendly tech such as heat pumps and electric cars replace traditional, fossil fuel burning ones.

Since 2021 three million electric cars have been sold in the EU. In Germany electric vehicles have a 20% market share, whilst 2023 saw EV sales soar to over 10.5 million worldwide.

“As electrification takes off through more heat pumps, electric vehicles and electrolysers, the EU will enter a new era of rising electricity demand,” says Ember’s global insights director Dave Jones. “Renewables will need to keep pace with that demand increase in order to deliver the emissions cuts needed for a safe climate.”

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