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Record power generation from solar and wind helped the European Union save $10.75 billion (11 billion euros) on natural gas imports since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a new study by environmental think tanks E3G and Ember finds.
Wind and solar energy sources accounted for a record 24% of EU electricity generation between March and September this year, equal to 345 terawatt hours, growing by a record 39 TWh year-on-year. The share of wind and solar in EU electricity generation jumped this year to 24% from the 21% share in the same period of 2021, according to the study.
Nineteen out of the 27 EU member states achieved a wind and solar record, including Spain, Italy, Poland, and France.
The record increase in wind and solar compared to last year removed the need for eight billion cubic meters of additional natural gas at a cost of $10.75 billion (11 billion euros), the study found.
Artur Patuleia, Senior Associate focusing on energy system transitions at E3G, said, commenting on the study, “With tight LNG markets sustaining high gas costs for the next years, governments need to support the clean energy ambition of RePowerEU, making it a core element of the energy price crisis response.”
However, the EU continued to spend a lot more on gas, paying an estimated $80 billion (82 billion euros) on fossil gas between March and September to supply 20% of its electricity, the study showed.
A part of those gas volumes continued to come from Russia.
As of September, the EU had already imported more than $98 billion (100 billion euros) worth of fossil fuels from Russia since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the think-tank Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) said in a report earlier this month.
“Russia’s fossil fuel exports resumed dropping in September, with estimated revenue falling 14% from August. The largest losses were in gas exports to Europe, and in crude oil exports globally,” CREA said.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,