Europe is ready for the rise of renewable energies, and among the countries of the Old Continent, Scandinavia is the most virtuous. Sweden, Denmark and Finland are the most innovative and the most capable, in terms of quality and speed in the energy transition, which is accelerating in Europe, although it is not yet as fast as it should.
After the Scandinavian countries, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany are also in an excellent position in the race towards renewable energy, while there is still some effort in France, Spain and Portugal, and in the countries of Eastern Europe.
Denmark has approved a plan to build an artificial island in the North Sea that will produce renewable energy capable of meeting the electricity needs of 3 million households: the energy island. In its initial phase, the island will be 120,000 square meters in size, connected to hundreds of offshore wind turbines and will provide both energy to households and green hydrogen for transportation and industry.
Denmark's main goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030, one of the most ambitious plans in the world, as well as to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The EU has set a zero-carbon target at 2050, but according to the study, the pace is still too slow to reach it, as is the intermediate pace of reducing greenhouse gases by 55% by 2030.
According to the Ember-Agora Energiewende report, in 2020 wind energy in Europe increased by 9% and solar energy by 15%. Together, they have generated a fifth of Europe's electricity. In order to achieve the objectives set by the EU, according to the authors of the study, the growth of wind and solar generation must almost triple, from 38 Terawatt / hour of average growth per year in the ten years 2010/2020 to 100 in the decade just started.
As for energy from fossil sources, coal production fell in 2020, halving compared to 2015, continuing a trend already underway before the pandemic. Half of the decline in 2020 is due to the decrease in demand for electricity.
We have to recall that, as we wrote in our previous article, according to a report made by Ember and the German agency Agora Energiewende, for the first time in Europe, in 2020 renewable sources overtook fossil fuels for the production of electricity.
According to the study, renewable energies grew from 34.6% to 38%, while those from fossil fuels fell to 37%. The report says wind and solar will need to increase at a faster rate in 2021 if the recent coal declines are to be sustained.
Despite the pandemic, gas production decreased by just 4% and nuclear production by 10%. According to the paper, these figures mean that European electricity was 29% less polluting than in 2015.