Renewable energy has become a prominent power source in Europe. According to the analysis of UK power industry analysis company EnAppSys, the power generation of clean energy has surpassed that of nuclear energy and fossil fuel for 6 consecutive quarters, though the research team also discovered that solar energy, which experienced a surging power generation in the second quarter, had sustained a decline in power generation during the third quarter.
Numerous countries had implemented stay-at-home orders and travel bans during the second quarter of 2020 under the COVID-19 pandemic, where citizens are prohibited to leave their homes unless they are purchasing supplies or encountering emergency situations, which resulted in a declining number of vehicles on the streets, reduction of flights, and impeded industrial development. Despite the inconvenience in daily lives, air pollution has substantially decreased, and the excellent weather then had led to a record high in solar power generation during the second quarter of 2020 in Europe at 47.6TWh, with a whopping ratio of solar power generation at 7.8%, which was a significant YoY improvement from 5.9%.
However, the solar power generation in Europe had gone down 26% during the third quarter, and arrived at the lowest volume of power generation since 2016 at 35.1TWh, with the solar power generation ratio reduced to 5.4%. As various areas alleviate on lockdown measures successively, the mass public has gradually recovered to the initial daily routine, and the demand for energy has increased once again. EnAppSys commented that the total demand for energy in Europe had returned to the level of 2019 during the end of the third quarter, where the ratio of fossil fuel and nuclear energy had slightly increased.
A comprehensive observation on the power generation of all renewable energy indicates that renewable energy has instead gone through a YoY increment, whereas both fossil fuel and nuclear energy had decreased. Thanks to the contribution of wind power and hydropower, renewable energy has had a YoY growth of 8% at 264.5TWh, whereas the power generation of both fossil fuel and nuclear energy has been reduced by 4% and 15% respectively.
Renewable energy occupied 40% of power generation in Europe during the third quarter, where hydropower was ranked first by occupying 16%, followed by wind power at second place with approximately 15%, indicating that the power generation volume of renewable energy has exceeded that of fossil fuel and nuclear energy. However, an individual comparison for the extensive renewable energy, which includes solar energy, wind energy, and biofuel, would indicate that nuclear energy retains its first place, followed by natural gas, and hydropower at third place.
According to the report of EnAppSys, the demand for electricity has recovered in Europe during the third quarter, where the volume of power generation has also had a QoQ increment of 7%, though EnAppSys warns that Europe may adopt new pandemic prevention measures in the future as the pandemic is far from over.
(Cover photo source: Flickr/Thomas Kohler CC BY 2.0)