Greece has hit its greenest energy milestone to date after running on completely renewable energy for the first time.
Renewable energy entirely covered Greece’s electricity demands for around five hours last Friday, according to the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO).
Renewables also reached a peak of 3,106 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity- a new record. IPTO says the achievement will open the door to making its energy mix greener in coming years.
The accomplishment comes after a decade in which Greece’s reliance on fossil fuels has slowly declined, whilst boosting the capacity of renewables and large hydropower plants, according to The Green Tank, a Greece-based non-profit environmental think tank.
Greece relies on a range of sources for electricity, with no one source accounting for more than 50%. In August of 2022, natural gas and renewable sources, such as wind and solar, accounted for the most power. IPTO also draws electricity from hydropower, as well as from the fossil fuel lignite or “brown coal.”
The latest data from independent power transmission operator ADMIE shows that cumulatively for the first eight months of this year, renewables surpassed any other energy source with 13,238GWh.
This makes up 46% of Greece’s power mix, up from 42% in the same period last year. Fossil gas followed in second place with 13,150GWh, decreasing its role in the country’s energy mix for the first time since 2018.
However, the report suggests lignite production from January to August 2022 still increased by 141GWh.
As well as Greece, the California Independent System Operator, which serves about 80% of the US state, reported that it briefly achieved 100% renewables energy use in the spring.
Renewable energy has seen a mass boom in recent years, with the International Energy Agency reporting a 45% jump in capacity in 2020. In the U.S. this year, the gains include wind power outpacing both coal and nuclear energy.
Great Britain has also seen its energy system record its highest ever available wind generation in the week commencing 3 October. The recording peaked at 17.6GW of potential wind energy generated in the evening of 5 October. This accounted for 71% of the UK’s energy.
Another milestone was achieved by Scotland, who recently generated a record amount of renewable electricity. A total of 7,358 gigawatt hours (GWh) was produced in April, May and June, a 36% increase on the same period in 2021. The figure was more than 25% greater than in any second quarter previously recorded.
The Scottish government said 18,568 GWh of renewable electricity was generated in the first half of 2022 – up 29% on 2021.
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