EU fossil fuel generation hits new low

Article posted

31st Aug 2023

Read time

3-5 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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In the EU, the generation of power from fossil fuels has experienced a significant decline largely attributed to the reduced demand for electricity. This trend underscores the changing dynamics in the energy industry, highlighting an increased shift towards renewable energy sources and more efficient energy consumption practices. The lower electricity demand has led to a decrease in reliance on fossil fuels, contributing to a remarkable reduction in carbon emissions and environmental impact.


Between January and June, fossil fuel power output contributed to the smallest portion of the power mix at just 33%. This significant reduction in fossil fuel usage marks a notable shift in the global energy market and possibly the UK’s energy strategy, with an increased emphasis on sustainable and renewable energy sources. It further illustrates a commendable stride towards less polluting and more environmentally friendly energy production methods, aiming at curtailing the adverse impacts of climate change.

The observed drop in demand for fossil fuels can be attributed to a confluence of several factors. Elevated gas and power prices played a significant role, pushing both domestic and industrial consumers to seek cheaper and more sustainable alternatives. In addition, there has been a reduction in industrial activity due in part to the global economic slowdown, which has resulted in a lower energy demand overall. Finally, the implementation of winter measures that encourage reduced power consumption, such as increased insulation and energy-efficient heating systems has also contributed to the decline. These factors, when combined, have led to a significant decrease in the dependence on fossil fuels for energy generation in the UK.


Could a reduction in fossil fuel mean lower energy prices?

While the current dynamics in the UK energy market underscore a shift away from fossil fuels, it's crucial to consider the influence of wider trends in the EU market. As the EU continues to phase out fossil fuels, we can expect these changes to permeate the UK market over time. The EU's commitment to carbon neutrality and the proliferation of renewable energy alternatives will likely drive similar transformations in the UK's energy landscape. This shift could potentially lead to more stable and possibly lower energy prices in the long term, as renewable sources become more cost-effective, and the burden of carbon emissions costs diminishes.


Prices may rise depending on winter demand

However, it's important to temper expectations of sustained low fossil fuel demand, especially during the winter months. Historically, the demand for fossil fuel energy increases significantly during the colder months as heating requirements in homes and businesses surge. Despite strides in energy efficiency and the growth of renewable energy sources, the existing infrastructure remains heavily reliant on fossil fuels to meet this heightened demand. Thus, while the trend towards lower fossil fuel usage is encouraging, the seasonal realities of energy demand continue to present a significant challenge to the goal of a complete transition to renewable energy sources.


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