Solar produced 11.9% of Europe’s renewable energy mix at 75TWh from 70.8TWh in Q3 2022. Image: Michael Pointner (Pixabay).

European solar generation increased by 13% to 75TWh in Q3 2023, according to a new report by EnAppSys.

The energy data analyst’s study of the European Q3 2023 (1 July to 30 September) electricity market – which included Britain – revealed that renewable power generation increased by 12% to 627.6TWh in the quarter compared to Q3 2022, which is the highest growth rate of any third quarter, according to EnAppSys.

Solar produced 11.9% of this total at 75TWh from 70.8TWh in Q3 2022.

The report follows National Grid ESO’s monthly electricity statistics, which showed that renewables produced 52% and 49% of Britain’s electricity in July and September respectively. 

Renewables, including waste, were the largest contributor to the European power mix last quarter, producing a total of 47.7% of total output. By technology, production was led by hydro (16.4%), followed by wind (15.2%), solar (11.9%) and nuclear produced 24%.

Fossil fuels made up 28.6% of the total European power mix.

Q3 2023 also saw a sustained downward trend in wholesale electricity prices, a downward trajectory beginning from Q3 2022, revealed EnAppSys. This was mostly attributed to falling gas prices which saw negative prices in the first weeks of Q3 2023, before moving to generally steady prices from July onwards.

There was a surge in electricity prices in late August, due to a rise in gas prices attributed to the announcement of a strike planned for early September by Australian natural gas workers, but prices dipped again towards the end of September when wind generation was high.

“This latest renewables record indicates that many European countries are moving to produce more of their electricity from clean energy sources,” said Jean-Paul Harreman, director of EnAppSys BV.

“Q3 2023 was also characterised by a sustained downturn in wholesale prices. The lower prices were driven mainly by a mix of lower gas prices, abundant wind power and lower electricity demand. Negative prices were often seen, especially in the early part of the quarter. From July onwards, electricity prices generally remained steady, occasionally dipping, especially towards the end of September when wind generation was high.”

This article was originally published on our sister site Current± and can be found here.