Wartsila analysis shows share of renewables in European power sector up to 43%
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Combustion Industry News Editor
Finland’s Wartsila has said that the COVID-19 crisis has raised the shares of renewable power generation in energy sectors throughout Europe, to an overall level of 43%, due to falling electricity demand and temporary shut-downs of coal-fired plants (electricity from which had fallen by 25.5% to the end of March). Other quirks have affected European energy markets, too. Marco Wiren, head of Wartsila’s energy business, said that two weeks ago, Germany produced 10 GW of excess electricity, as it continued to run its coal-fired plants, and gave that excess away to neighbouring countries for free. The relative inflexibility of coal-fired plants has been a key reason behind the shift away from coal during the crisis, according to the report from Reuters. In Germany, renewables late last week had a share of around 60% of the electricity mix, up 12% from a year ago, with coal down by 44%, while in Spain, renewables were up to 49%, and in Britain 43%. Gas firing had also fallen in Britain, down 24%. Wartsila Chief Executive Jaakko Eskola said he expects the crisis to speed up transitions to cleaner energy.