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EU Fossil Fuel Usage Hits Record Low in First Half of 2023

A remarkable shift in the European Union's energy landscape was spotlighted today by a recent report from think tank Ember. The EU experienced its lowest-ever fossil fuel consumption for the first half of this year. From January to June, a mere 33% of the EU's power mix came from fossil fuels.

Coal, often highlighted as a major environmental concern, witnessed a 23% reduction year-on-year in the EU, accounting for only 10% of the EU’s electricity generation in May. Furthermore, May and June set the record for the lowest coal consumption months ever.

Ember analyst Matt Ewen commented on the trend, “The decline in fossil fuels showcases the changing dynamics. The EU is steadily distancing itself from coal and gas, which are now seen as too expensive and risky. However, the transition to cleaner power sources needs to gain momentum."

Solar and wind energy are emerging as prominent clean power sources. Solar power generation surged by 13% in the first half of the year, with wind following at a growth of 4.8%. This growth was evident as 17 EU countries, including Greece, Romania, Denmark, and Portugal, achieved record-breaking power generation from renewables. Both Denmark and Portugal surpassed the 75% mark, while Germany almost touched the half-way point with a 49% share.

Though renewables are on a surge, the power scene in the EU shows varied results for hydro and nuclear power. Following significant dips last year, hydro saw an 11% rise in the first half of 2023. Nuclear power, on the other hand, dipped by 3.6% but is expected to regain its momentum as 2023 progresses.

As the EU makes strides toward a greener future, the push for cleaner and more sustainable power sources becomes even more critical. The declining dependency on fossil fuels signals a promising future, but the race to replace them with renewables is still on.

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