18.09.23 / renewable energy Renewables European Union (64 oil gas / Press Release

CERA report reveals EU Achieves Major Milestone in Renewable Energy Growth, Significantly Cutting Reliance on Russian Fossil Fuels

EU Achieves Major Milestone in Renewable Energy Growth

Kyiv, Ukraine - 18 September 2023-

A new report from The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) has found that in August 2023, the European Union celebrated a momentous achievement as it experienced unprecedented growth in solar and wind power generation. This remarkable progress resulted in the displacement of a staggering 18 terawatt-hours (TWh) of fossil gas consumption. To put this in perspective, it represents a substantial 54% reduction in the EU's total fossil gas imports from Russia, amounting to 33 TWh, facilitated through both pipeline and LNG sources. This monumental increase in renewable energy production not only diversifies the power generation mix but also significantly diminishes the EU's dependence on fossil fuels imported from external sources.

While this significant reduction in coal and fossil gas consumption, coupled with a substantial increase in solar and wind electricity generation, marks a significant stride forward, it underscores the pressing need for continued investment in renewable energy sources (RES).

Svitlana Romanko, Founder and Director of the Ukrainian climate and peace group Razom We Stand, said, "While the impact of Russian climate bombs is devastating, the daily reality of Russian rockets, bombs, and bullets fired at us by the petro-dictator Putin is horrific for us Ukrainians. Our people continue to suffer and lose their lives in these relentless attacks funded by Russia's exports of fossil fuels.”

"The top priority for halting climate disruption and ending the brutal war in Ukraine should be ending oil and gas production in Russia. Diverting frozen Russian assets and ill-gotten war profits toward rebuilding Ukraine with clean energy sources will be essential for our victory."

The European Union must expedite its transition to clean energy to break free from reliance on Russian fossil fuels, which inadvertently fund Putin's ongoing war against Ukraine. Continuing to invest in renewables will not only yield a notable decrease in carbon emissions but also improve air quality, enhance public health, bolster energy stability, and critically undermine Putin's war-financing capabilities. Razom We Stand has been consistently and successfully campaigning for the EU to take stronger actions to build out clean energy and welcomes this progress.

Key Findings of the report Include:

  • RES power generation achieved a monumental feat by saving natural gas equivalent to 54% of the EU's Russian gas imports in August 2023.
  • Solar and wind power generation witnessed a substantial year-on-year increase of 9 TWh in August.
  • A significant reduction in coal and fossil gas power generation led to a remarkable 45% decrease in CO2 emissions.
  • Demand for fossil gas outside the power sector continued its downward trajectory, registering a substantial 27% decline in August 2023 compared to the same period in 2021.

Policy Recommendations Include:

  • EU Member States should maintain their steadfast commitment to reducing reliance on Russian fossil fuels to fortify energy security.
  • The transition away from fossil fuels aligns perfectly with climate objectives and results in a marked reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Robust investments in renewable energy infrastructure remain imperative for a successful energy transition.
  • Implementing energy efficiency measures will play a pivotal role in reducing overall energy demand and emissions.
  • A decisive recommendation is the ban on pipeline gas and LNG imports from Russia. This measure is crucial in preventing EU resources from inadvertently funding Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Notes to editors: 

The full paper EU solar and wind power growth displaced gas consumption worth half of Russian imports in August 2023 is available to download here: https://energyandcleanair.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/CREA_EU-power-generation-from-coal-gas-in-2023-up-to-August_09.2023.pdf 

Jason Kirkpatrick
Senior Communications Manager
[email protected]

About Razom We Stand 
Ukrainian group Razom We Stand, founded at the beginning of Russia's war in 2022, campaigns to end the war by cutting Russia's exports of fossil fuels, has continuously advocated for a comprehensive and fully enforced embargo on Russian fossil fuels and works towards a green rebuilding of Ukraine with clean energy, for a better climate and better future. Learn more here: https://razomwestand.org/en/about-us

About CREA:
The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) stands as an independent research organisation dedicated to addressing the causes, trends, and health impacts of air pollution while advocating for clean energy solutions. CREA strongly condemns the unjustified attack launched by the Russian military against Ukraine and firmly stands in support of a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict.
For more comprehensive information, kindly visit CREA's website, and access detailed data on the live EU CO2 emission tracker.