Summer of ’22 brought record heat, solar power to Europe

Sep 8, 2022, 5:01 AM | Updated: Sep 14, 2022, 3:59 am
File - Solar panels on Germany's biggest floating photovoltaic plant produce energy under a blue sk...

File - Solar panels on Germany's biggest floating photovoltaic plant produce energy under a blue sky on a lake in Haltern, Germany, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Long periods of sunshine took solar power generation in Europe to a record high this summer, helping reduce the need for gas imports, according to a report Thursday. Energy think tank Ember said the European Union generated 12% of its electricity from solar power from May to August, up from 9% during the same period last year. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File )

(AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File )

BERLIN (AP) — Europe smashed previous temperature records this summer, with long periods of sunshine causing sweltering conditions and droughts across much of the continent but also helping boost much-needed solar power, according to data published Thursday.

The European Commission said average temperatures from June to August were 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.7 degrees Fahrenheit) higher on the continent this year than the previous record set in 2021. In August alone, the previous monthly record from 2018 was exceeded by 0.8 C (1.4 F) this year, it said.

“European temperatures were most above average in the east of the continent in August, but were still well above average in the southwest, where they had been high also in June and July,” the commission said, citing data gathered by its Copernicus climate program, which has used satellites to monitor surface air temperatures since 1991.

Separately, energy think tank Ember said the European Union set a new record for solar power this summer, reducing the need for natural gas imports.

The group said the 27-nation bloc generated 12% of its electricity from solar power from May to August, up from 9% during the same period last year. Solar energy narrowly topped the share provided from wind or hydropower, while coming in just below that produced from burning coal.

Ember said that without the 99.4 terrawatt hours of electricity provided by solar, the EU would have had to buy 20 billion cubic meters of gas, costing about 29 billion euros (nearly $29 billion) during the four-month period.

The Netherlands and Germany, not known for their sunny climates, had the highest share of electricity from solar, followed by Spain. Poland saw the biggest increase in solar power generation compared with 2018, increasing installed capacity 26-fold, the report said.

“The solar records set this summer helped keep the lights on and reduced the EU’s now critical gas consumption, providing short-term relief to the soaring cost of energy,” its authors said.

With Europe trying to wean itself off Russian gas because of the war in Ukraine, and high fossil fuel prices expected to last for years, they urged governments to ensure that solar power use can expand further, including by removing regulatory hurdles.

The authors noted this would also help the EU achieve its climate goal, saying solar power — which provides much less electricity in the winter months — would need to increase up to nine-fold by 2035 for the bloc to meet the emissions targets set in the 2015 Paris accord.

___

Follow all AP stories on climate change at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Lawyer: Trump ‘eager’ for deposition in rape accuser case

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer for ex-President Donald Trump said Tuesday that her client is “ready and eager” to sit for a deposition in the defamation case of a woman who says he raped her in the 1990s, but she’s nevertheless asking that it be postponed. Attorney Alina Habba wrote to a Manhattan federal […]
13 hours ago
Attorneys of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, Phillip Linder, left, and James Lee Bright, arrive...
Associated Press

Oath Keepers founder: Be ‘ready to fight’ after Trump loss

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hours after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, the leader of the Oath Keepers extremist group was discussing how to push President Donald Trump to go further in his fight to cling to power, according to messages shown to jurors Tuesday in his U.S. Capitol attack trial. […]
13 hours ago
FILE - President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen from the media van in the presidential mo...
Associated Press

Trump asks Supreme Court to intervene in Mar-a-Lago dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for former President Donald Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to step into the legal fight over the classified documents seized during an FBI search of his Florida estate. The Trump team asked the court to overturn a lower court ruling and permit an independent arbiter, or special master, […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Amazon sues Washington’s labor agency over alleged hazards

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has sued Washington state’s labor agency following disputes with regulators over citations and fines imposed on the company for worker safety issues. In the lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court for the Western District of Washington, Amazon asked a judge to prohibit orders from the Washington Department of Labor & […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Teenage girl, boyfriend arrested in father’s stabbing death

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Police in Nebraska’s capital city of Lincoln have arrested a 15-year-old girl and her 16-year-old boyfriend in the stabbing death of the girl’s father. Officers called Monday afternoon to the apartment of 70-year-old Jesse Gilmer found him dead with stab wounds, police said in a news conference Tuesday. Gilmer’s teenage daughter […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Celina Washburn protests outside the Arizona Capitol to voice her dissent with an abortion r...
Associated Press

Arizona abortion rights backers sue to overturn old ban

PHOENIX (AP) — Supporters of abortion rights on Tuesday sued to block an old Arizona law that criminalizes nearly all abortions, arguing that laws passed by the state Legislature after 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision should take precedence and abortions should be allowed until 15 weeks into a pregnancy. The lawsuit filed by a Phoenix […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Summer of ’22 brought record heat, solar power to Europe