Germany, Spain and UK to foster green Europe transition, while coal-based generation faces darkness in the COVID-19 standstill, says GlobalData

The COVID-19 pandemic drew the curtains over coal-based generation. Especially countries such as Germany, Spain and the UK, which saw the most decline in electricity demand and marshaled other countries in the expanding of power generation from renewable sources. GlobalData estimates that the year-on-year generation from wind and solar PV in EU countries is expected to be 10-15% more in 2020, clearly highlighting the boost these sectors have had amid the pandemic.

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “GlobalData estimated that the share of solar PV as a percentage of the total generation in Germany, Spain and the UK  was 27.4% in 2019, and is now estimated to be more than 30%, in 2020. Consequently, coal-based generation in these countries is expected to take a hit of more than 10% this year. Hence, developers are expected to prefer generation from renewables as they are cost-effective and environment friendly.”

Germany’s Fraunhoffer ISE and Spain’s Red Electrica De Espana saw a month-on-month drop of 36.9% and 35.7% for coal generation, respectively, in April. The UK also ran without coal-based generation for more than two months. The benefits of a pollution-free environment and high yielding summer played a key role in the increased renewables’ generation. As economic activities are unlikely to start with a full swing immediately, developers in the EU countries would prefer generating from the cost-effective renewable energy sources in the near future.

Das added: “Amid the various hurdles caused due to COVID-19 restrictions, the silver lining for the power sector is the performance of the renewables to bridge the gap that occurred due to the temporary shutdown of the power plants reliant on fuel supply and constant administration. Industry estimates that around 39% of carbon emissions have been cut from Europe’s electricity system, this has boosted the case for renewable systems that can operate smoothly and reliably.”

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