Why is record renewable energy production in Europe in 2023 not good news?

Why is record renewable energy production in Europe in 2023 not good news?

If Europe produces more renewable energy in 2023 than in 2022, it will be mainly explained by periods of floods, storms and “abnormal” sunlight, according to the Copernicus Observatory.


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The share of renewable energy in electricity produced in Europe reached 43% in 2023. (Illustration).  (Thibaud Moritz/AFP)

In 2023, 43% of the electricity produced in Europe came from renewable energy sources, according to the European climate monitoring service Copernicus, which is publishing its new report. Annual offer Monday 22 April. This is an increasing share compared to 36% in 2022. However, this reveals climate anomalies, according to Copernicus.

First of all, the demand for energy was stronger, as scientists explain, whether “amazing”during the “Exceptional summer temperatures” On the continent, or for “Heating” During temperatures “Colder than usual” In Scandinavia in particular.

“Above average rain”

More specifically, Copernicus detailed in his report that certain events led to an increase in renewable energy production. energy production “Hydroelectric power running down the river.”In other words, they were dams “Above average in most of Europe” In 2023, we can read in the report. This is explained by “Above average rainfall and river flows.”

Regarding precipitation, the monitoring service highlights that during 2023, Europe “7% wetter than normal”Especially in Greece, Germany and even Denmark. In France, the Pas-de-Calais region witnessed a severe flood wave last November. Italy was also the victim of heavy rains in May 2023, causing the deaths of around fifteen people in the Emilia-Romagna region.

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“Increased activity” of storms

The European Copernicus Service also notes the exceptional frequency of storms on the continent, which has led to the appearance of… “With above-average wind energy production potential.” a “Increased activity from October to December”Experts identified the disease, which left 65 people dead and affected 550,000 people.

They cite in particular Turkey, which was the victim of Storm Daniel last September, which left six dead. In France, storms Ciarne and Domingos hit Brittany and the Atlantic coast respectively in November, killing three people and injuring about fifty others.

“Abnormal sunny weather” in 2023

Solar electricity produced from photovoltaic panels has also increased, especially in southern and southwestern Europe. A phenomenon that can be explained by an unusual period of sunshine, according to Copernicus, especially in September when it was the most “Abnormal”.

One phenomenon led to another: September in France was not as hot as it was last year, with an average of 21.5°C, or between 3.5°C and 3.6°C above average. In general, the year 2023 was the year of all climate records according to Copernicus, which indicates that Europe is a continent. “Which heats up faster” With rising temperatures “About twice the global average.”.

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