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Renewables achieve clean energy record as COVID-19 hits demand

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Renewables’ share of total clean energy generation in Europe topped 60% for the first time in the first three months of the year.


That was a standout statistic in the latest quarterly report on the European power generation market from energy data analyst EnAppSys, which also found that the impact of COVID-19 triggered a steep fall in demand and prices in the last two months of the quarter.


The largest share of electricity generation came from renewables, which produced 303 TWh in the period – 41% of overall power generation and up 16% on the amount produced in the first three months of 2019. The 303 TWh figure also represents 61% of clean energy generation in Q1 2020 – defined as a combination of renewable energy and nuclear power.


The effect of COVID-19 inevitably resulted in lower demand across Europe in the latter part of the quarter, as companies temporarily halted production, offices shut down and public transport operated on reduced timetables. Overall, the virus contributed to a 27% drop in demand across Europe from the first week in February to the end of March.


In this period, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands all suffered a demand drop greater than 10% – in stark contrast to the same period in 2018 when none of these countries saw demand fall by more than 1.5%


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