May sees renewable energy set a span of records in Europe


May proved to be a record month for renewables generation across Western Europe, with much of the continent’s energy provided by solar and wind, thanks to favourable weather. This is according to data provided by the Wärtsilä Energy Transition Lab.

According to the industry analysts, 24 May saw 55% of the continent’s energy supply came from renewables such as wind solar and hydro.

The Lab claims that the share of renewables in Europe reached levels that aren’t expected for at least another decade.

Amongst the countries boasting higher levels of renewable energy over the period are Germany, sustaining an average of 58% renewable generation throughout May, while the UK averaged 48%.

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The 30th of April saw renewable energy account for 74% of Spain’s electricity.

According to the data, carbon emissions plummeted in May, falling more than 20% compared to 2019 figures. Over the month, demand fell 10%, due in large part to global lockdown conditions.

Wärtsilä Energy Group’s director of strategy and business development, Matti Rautkivi, said: “To achieve this level of renewables across Europe before summer has even begun is incredible! Records are falling like dominos and the impact this is having on national energy systems is showing us what we need to do to integrate extremely high levels of wind and solar for the long term.

Rautkivi: “During the huge difficulties caused by COVID-19, we have been presented with a unique opportunity to learn how we can tackle the next big challenge – climate change. We must capitalise on this rare glimpse into the future and use it to build back a cleaner and more flexible energy system.”