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EGEB: Europe smashes renewable records through May

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Europe has smashed green energy use records this spring due to good weather and COVID-19.
  • BP announces today that it will cut 15% of its workforce.
  • UK energy giant OVO Energy will have an all-electric fleet by 2030.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Europe breaks renewables records

Europe’s electricity generation from renewables continues to topple records due to the coronavirus shutdown and a sunny spring. The Finnish smart tech specialist Wärtsilä Energy Transition Lab reports that carbon emissions coming from Europe’s power supply fell more than 20% compared to May 2019. Coal generation was down 28.1%, and gas is down 12.8%. However, renewables are up 11.5%.

On May 24, 55% of Europe’s power was supplied by green energy — the best day yet. As for individual countries’ renewable weekly load against 2019, here’s a random sample:

  • Norway: 98%
  • Sweden: 64%
  • Denmark: 75% (pictured)
  • Portugal: 72%
  • Germany: 58%
  • Spain: 51%
  • Ireland: 45%
  • The UK: 41%
  • Greece: 36%

Matti Rautkivi, director of strategy and business development at Wärtsilä Energy Group, said:

Records are falling like dominos and the impact this is having on national energy systems is showing us what we need to do to integrate extremely high levels of wind and solar for the long term.

During the huge difficulties caused by COVID-19, we have been presented with a unique opportunity to learn how we can tackle the next big challenge — climate change. We must capitalize on this rare glimpse into the future and use it to build back a cleaner and more flexible energy system.

BP job cuts

Reuters exclusively reports today that oil giant BP will cut 15% of its workforce. This is a result of the coronavirus, and also CEO Bernard Looney’s plan to shift the fossil-fuel company to green energy announced today.

The UK-headquartered company will cut 10,000 jobs from the current 70,100. Staff were told of the cuts by Looney in a global online call.

About one-fifth of the redundancies will be in the UK, and cuts will mostly consist of senior office-based positions. BP will give no pay raises to senior employees until March 2021.

BP has flagged a 25% cut to $12 billion this year, and Looney said the company would need to cut costs even further.

OVO goes all-EV

UK energy giant OVO Energy, with nearly 700,000 customers, has said it will have an all-electric fleet by 2030. OVO also set itself a net zero target and pledged to help halve its members’ emissions for the same year.

Business Green reports:

[OVO] has joined The Climate Group’s EV100 and EP100 campaigns, committing to transitioning its fleet to electric vehicles by 2030 and installing charging infrastructure at its work locations to support electric vehicle uptake by employees, while also doubling its energy productivity across its operations by the same date.

OVO has also planted over 1 million trees in five years in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers. OVO and The Conservation Volunteers plant three trees on behalf of every customer signed up to its OVO Beyond tariff (explained below). They are currently on target to plant another 370,000 trees before 2021.

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.