Rising carbon costs and coal plant closures across Europe have resulted in gas-fired power generation overtaking output from other forms of fossil fuels for the first time in recent history, according to analysts.
A new report from energy market analyst EnAppSys showed that gas plants across Europe produced 117 TWh of electricity in the first quarter of 2019, compared with a combined 110.9 TWh from coal, lignite and gas-to-coal plants. These figures are based upon the reporting of fuel mix through entsoe which is a largely complete dataset.
EnAppSys says this is “a dramatic shift” from Q1 of 2015, when coal and lignite plants provided more than double the electricity generated by gas plants (159.6 TWh against 61.3 TWh). Since then, levels of generation at gas-fired plants have risen by 91 per cent whilst levels of generation from coal sources have dropped by almost a third.
The report found that although overall renewable output declined 8 per cent in Q1 2019 due to a significant fall in hydropower generation, wind output hit a record high of 105.4 TWh, which ensured that windfarms produced more electricity than hydro plants across Europe for the second successive quarter.