European Electricity Generation

Every month we update the story of electricity generation in Europe with the latest data from ENTSO-E and national TSOs. Scroll down to read through our analysis or
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Last updated on: 9 / 8 / 2021

The generation of electricity provides power to European homes, businesses and industry – but it also produces greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to global warming. The electricity transition is the pathway from carbon intensive to clean power, maintaining the provision of cheap and reliable electricity while removing the fossil fuel based generation that causes emissions. Europe is leading the way, but there is still too much coal and fossil gas on the grid, and certain countries have further to go than others.

Read about what happened: Last yearThis month ~ What needs to happen next ~ Or skip to the data

 

The EU-27 as a whole has made good progress, generating more electricity from renewable than fossil fuels for the first time in 2020.

Renewable energy includes hydropower and bioenergy, but wind and solar are the least risky for the climate and should be the focus of efforts to increase renewable generation. You can toggle which generation source you want to see by clicking on the graph’s legend, and use the drop-down menu to view individual countries:

Meanwhile coal is in structural decline, compounded last year by the impact of Covid-19. While the early months of 2021 saw some recovery in coal generation, increasing wind and solar are expected to continue to take over.

On the country level the story is not so simple. More wind and solar capacity is needed to replace coal and gas. Some countries have further to go than others.

Select “Zoom In” below to view individual countries in more detail:

So far this year the EU power sector has released 327 Million tonnes of CO2 by burning fossil fuels. Most of these emissions come from large countries that still generate a lot of electricity from coal. However, gas is also a fossil fuel. Countries like the UK that have almost completely phased out coal but still burn gas are continue to be major emitters.

Use the drop-down menu on the chart below to see how each country’s level of fossil fuel generation impacts their CO2 emissions:

In the last 12 months, most countries generated a higher proportion of their electricity mix from wind and solar than they did in 2018. The biggest improvement is in Estonia, where wind and solar have gained 12 points. Wind and solar are also rapidly replacing fossil fuels in Greece, Ireland the Netherlands and Spain.

See our half year review for our latest analysis.

Impressive capacity additions in the Netherlands continue to increase their wind and solar generation.

Ireland's electricity price has jumped again to €143. Meanwhile even the lowest electricity price in the EU-27 this month - Sweden at €54 - is higher than any monthly EU minimum in our data. For a more detailed look at price history scroll down to the data section at the bottom of the page.

Estonia's shale oil and Poland's coal give them the dirtiest electricity in Europe.

Dig into the data

Interested in a specific country, or want to explore nuclear or hydro power instead? Download the data, or scroll down to explore all generation sources by country.
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Data Sources

For 2000 to 2020 yearly electricity generation data: Ember’s 2020 Power Sector Review

For 2018 to 2020 monthly electricity generation data: Ember’s monthly data release

Main data source: ENTSO-E transparency platform

 

 

Commentary

Energy giants demand millions from Dutch taxpayers for stranded coal assets

Energy giants demand millions from Dutch taxpayers for stranded coal assets

Gas power plants overtook lignite in 2020 to become Europe’s #1 power sector emitter

Gas power plants overtook lignite in 2020 to become Europe’s #1 power sector emitter

Half way there: 50% of Europe’s coal plants on track for 2030 closure

Half way there: 50% of Europe’s coal plants on track for 2030 closure