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How clean is European power generation?

Only 30 percent of European power is currently generated from renewable sources. Nonetheless, over last decade, the contribution of renewables to the electricity mix has, in fact, increased considerably but it has been mainly due to an increasing contribution of variable renewable sources such as wind and solar. Biomass can provide an alternative solution to generate flexible and dispatchable clean electricity to complement other renewable sources as a new Bioenergy Europe report finds.

Gross electricity generation by product type in the EU28 in 2017 (in ktoe) according to Eurostat. The transformation output refers to the power output of the power plants. Hydro and wind are not normalised (graphic courtesy BioenergyEurope).

For the first time since its launch in 2007, the 2019 Statistical Report published by Bioenergy Europe (previously known as AEBIOM) will be split into 7 different publications, each one covering a different aspect of bioenergy. According to the 2019 “Report on Bioelectricity” released on May 13, 2019, almost 70 percent of electricity generated in the EU-28 is still produced using fossil and nuclear fuels.

In the last 20 years, Europe has gradually managed to decrease the contribution of oil and coal to electricity production but fossil gas has more than doubled over the same period.

Several EU Member States have indicated the phase-out of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions-free nuclear power – but a quick glance at the figures shows nuclear still accounts for a 25 percent share. These and other country-by-country analysis with data on electricity, renewable electricity, and bioelectricity – electricity produced from biomass can be found in the report.

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