Energy think tank Ember estimates that the increase in wind and solar generation across the EU has avoided EUR 12 billion (USD 12.8bn) in gas costs since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Between March 1, 2022 and January 31, 2023, wind and solar generated 546 TWh in the EU, an increase of 50 TWh, or 10%, in annual terms, reflecting growing capacity and positive weather conditions. Wind and solar represented 23% of EU generation in the period.
The additional 50 TWh reduced the amount of gas required for electricity production by 90 TWh, resulting in avoided gas costs of EUR 12 billion, based on the average TTF day ahead price for the period, Ember said on Wednesday.
In a hypothetical situation, if the EU had not produced a single kilowatt-hour from wind and solar during the examined period, it would have required more gas, paying some EUR 135 billion in costs, Ember claims.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shocked Europe into action. Suddenly, gaping vulnerabilities due to fossil fuel dependence became a stark reality,” said Ember senior analyst Sarah Brown. “At the year marker of Russia’s devastating war in Ukraine, it remains critical that the EU rapidly expands solar and wind to attain permanent energy independence,” she added.
Ember recently reported that wind and solar produced a record 22% of EU electricity last year, helping Europe to avoid a return to coal power amid the 2022 energy crisis.
A separate report by think tank Bruegel recently stated that European countries -- the EU members plus UK and Norway -- allocated EUR 768 billion to all sorts of fiscal and other measures to shield consumers from the rising energy costs since the energy crisis started in September 2021, but which the Russo-Ukrainian war only made worse.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.064)
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