EU avoids €11bn in gas costs thanks to solar and wind

A new study by E3G and Ember shows that wind and solar produced 25% of EU electricity since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Given the rampant inflation mainly caused by the high price of gas, the growth in renewables since last year alone avoided €11 billion in gas imports. However, the EU still spent an estimated €82 billion on fossil gas during this period to supply 20% of its electricity.

Dr Chris Rosslowe, senior analyst at Ember stated, “Wind and solar are already helping European citizens,” and added “But the future potential is even greater.”
Solar and wind generated a record 24% of EU electricity from March to September this year (345 terawatt hours), growing by a record 39 TWh year-on-year, up from 21% the same period last year. 19 EU member states have achieved a wind and solar record, including France (14%), Italy (20%), Poland (17%) and Spain (35%).

However, the report shows that past policy choices that increased the EU’s dependency on gas and held back the EU’s renewable and energy efficiency ambition are the main driver of Europe’s record-high inflation now. The report states that “Betting on gas as a bridge fuel and holding back on expanding renewable capacities are the main causes of Europe’s energy crisis”.  
The conclusion highlights that the European Commission’s RePowerEU ambition has the potential to reduce Europe’s exposure to costly gas imports significantly and quickly. To make this happen, RePowerEU needs to be supported by EU member states and the European Parliament and put into legislation, currently subject to negotiations.

Artur Patuleia, Senior Associate at E3G, commented “governments need to support the clean energy ambition of RePowerEU, making it a core element of the energy price crisis response”.

Based on the briefing of the report found here.


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