2015 saw a record 2.5% increase in renewables generation in Europe, which now makes up 29% of total European electricity supply,reports UK think tank Sandbag. However, as a result of lower output from hydropower and nuclear power stations, the amount of fossil fuel generation barely changed. CO2-emissions from the power sector fell only 0.5% after a 7.5% fall in 2014, but according to Sandbag this year will see a rapid fall again. How quickly will nuclear generation fall? Record-low wholesale electricity prices mean nuclear power plants may close sooner than thought, as they simply cease to be economic, meaning an increased reliance on fossil generation. A tax on Swedish nuclear output was the final straw for EON and Fortum, who in 2015 announced they will close 2 units of their Swedish nuclear plant, Oskarshamn – one unit has been offline since May-2013 so will never return, and the other unit needs a permit before a date is set, but is expected to be 2017-2019.
Renew Economy 1st Feb 2016 read more »