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July 22, 2020

Nearly half of European electricity comes from renewables amid Covid-19

By JP Casey

Renewable power generation has increased across Europe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data published by Wartsila and Reuters, raising hopes that the spread of the virus could help accelerate a transition to a greener energy mix.

With conventional forms of power generation significantly disrupted by the pandemic, as employees miss work due to illness and strict quarantine measures make it difficult for those unaffected to work effectively, the continent has turned to alternative energy sources as a means of meeting energy demand in these uncertain times.

On average, across EU members including the UK, and excluding Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Malta, renewables generated 44% of European power between April and June of this year. Austria saw the greatest proportion of clean energy, with 93% of electricity coming from renewable sources, while Estonia and Portugal showed the greatest improvement compared to the same three months last year, with both increasing their relative share of green power by close to 20%.

A similar trend was reported in the US, with renewables responsible for 23% of US electricity generation in April, up from 17% in the same period last year. In parts of the US, renewables accounted for up to 80% of total local electricity production.

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