News of the stunning growth in generation of wind and solar energy came in a recent report from London-based Ember, a research organization that tracks the globe’s electricity transition “from coal to clean.” In fact, the report’s title gives the plot away: Wind and Solar Now Generate One-Tenth of Global Electricity. According to Ember’s calculations, based on mid-year stats for 48 countries that account for 83% of global electricity production, “wind and solar have quickly increased to become a major source of electricity in most countries in the world, and are successfully reducing coal burn throughout the world.” In fact, wind and solar’s share of global electricity rose from 8.1% in 2019 to a record 9.8% at the end of June 2020. Their share has now more than doubled from 4.6% in 2015, when the Paris Climate Agreement was signed. Wind and solar now generate almost as much carbon-free power as nuclear power plants, which currently produce 10.5% of global electricity.
Corporate Knights 23rd Oct 2020 read more »
Dave Elliott: The IEA has been relatively conservative in the past, with its projections for green energy often being low, for PV solar especially. But it has now to deal with the changed reality that renewables are cheap and booming. As Carbon Brief says in an excellent review of the IEA report, the IEA confirms that ‘solar is now cheapest electricity in history’ and its main scenario has 43% more solar output by 2040 than it expected in its 2018 review. So now with renewables accelerating, the IEA has them meeting 80% of the growth in global electricity demand by 2030, and maybe then almost catching up with the projections from the International Renewable Energy Agency, which has renewables supplying around 86% of global power by 2050. However these projections are still some way off from the levels in the scenarios emerging from academics at Stanford and elsewhere, who look to renewables supplying 100% of all energy globally by then, with no nuclear or CCS. That assumes a vast acceleration of renewables, but also a big cut in demand and major energy efficiency gains. With renewables currently supplying around 27% of global electricity, but only about 11% of total energy, there is a very long way to go. However, over 60 countries already get 50% or more of their power from renewables and the battle to get beyond that goes on, with the emphasis shifting more to heat and transport energy, and also to wider biodiversity impact issues.
Renew Extra 24th Oct 2020 read more »