On a High Note: Greece's Grid Goes Green as EU Boosts Renewables
For about five hours on October 6th, Greece’s electricity grid ran on 100% renewable energy for the first time, peaking at a record-setting 3,106 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity. This is an important milestone -- according to the Greek Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO), the achievement is an important step toward greening the country’s energy mix even further. The IPTO has indicated that they aim to meet 70% of electricity demand with renewables by 2030.
WION: Climate Tracker | Greek electric grid runs on 100% green energy for first time, October 15, 2022.
Energy Storage News: Why Greece is becoming a key energy storage market hub for Europe, September 29, 2021.
Renewable energy is gaining a stronger foothold beyond Greece, too -- as a bloc, the EU is aiming to meet 82% of electricity demand with clean energy by 2030, while US states and territories comprising 51.04% of the country’s population have set goals to reach 100% clean energy by 2050 at the latest. Greece’s grid is also not the only system to have hit this milestone -- California achieved total clean energy power for a few minutes in May.
Though some are turning to coal to combat the energy crisis, other EU countries including the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, and Austria have undertaken large scale infrastructure projects in an effort to reach 100% renewables by 2030. 19 member states set solar and wind generation records during the month of September. According to a new report by E3G and EMBER, renewables have saved the bloc $97 billion in avoided gas imports, marking a critical step away from Russian gas and toward energy independence.
European Parliament: Boosting Europe's renewable energy sector, September 5, 2022.
In the US, renewable production surpassed coal production for the first time in history, accounting for 25% of the nation’s total generation -- and with the upcoming closure of the Healy Unit 2 plant in historically coal-powered Alaska, alongside the likely development of the New York Bight offshore wind project, we can expect to see this trend continue. Employment in clean energy is outpacing overall US employment, too -- while jobs in petroleum and coal declined by 6% and 13% respectively, jobs in the energy sector as a whole grew 4% from 2020 to 2021.
KCRA News: California's climate goals require major growth for the power grid | Solar Energy can help fill the gap, September 21, 2022.
CNBC: "We are in an epic transition from a fossil fuel economy to a clean energy economy” | John Doerr, June 27, 2022.
WW0: Creating Jobs While Decarbonizing the US Economy, June 28, 2022.
WTVR CBS6: Wind turbines produced more electricity than coal and nuclear energy for 1st time in US, April 22, 2022.
CBS (Canada): Oil-rich Texas sees clean energy boom, March 25, 2022.
CBS: California ahead of clean energy goals, March 11, 2022.
Bloomberg: The World Needs Supergrids, But There's a Problem, July 28, 2022.