In 2021, wind and solar energy will generate 10% of the world’s electricity for the first time

wind turbines and cowsImage: Shutterstock Guitar Photographer

50 countries get more than 1/10 of their energy from wind and solar sources, according to a study by Ember.

As global economies recovered from the impact of Covid-19 in 2021, demand for energy saw a huge increase.

The demand for electricity has increased at a record pace. This meant an increase in power from coal, which saw its biggest increase since 1985.

Ember’s research shows us that the growth in electricity needs last year was equivalent to adding a new India to the global grid.

Solar and wind, along with other green sources, generated 38% of global electricity in 2021. For the first time, wind and solar generated 10% of the global total.

The share coming from the solar and wind sector has doubled since 2015, when the Paris climate agreement was signed.

The fastest transition took place in the Netherlands, Vietnam and Australia.

These 3 countries have shifted a tenth of their electricity demand from fossil fuels to clean sources over the past two years.

Vietnam has seen spectacular growth, especially in the solar sector, which grew by more than 300% in just one year. In 2021, there was a massive increase in solar generation, which met the increased demand for electricity, and also caused a decline in coal and gas generation.

Most of the increase in electricity demand in 2021 was met by fossil fuels, with coal-fired electricity growing by 9%, the fastest pace since 1985.

Much of the increase in coal use has occurred in Asian countries, including China and India, but the increase in coal has not been matched by the use of gas, which only increased by 1% globally, indicating that rising gas prices have made coal a more viable market. electricity source for some countries.

Gas prices in Europe and much of Asia are 10 times higher than they were this time last year, when coal is three times more expensive.

These gas and coal prices are a good reason for electric systems to demand more clean electricity, because the economy has fundamentally changed.

Despite the resurgence of coal in 2021, major economies, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Canada, intend to evolve their networks to 100% electric networks within the next 15 years. This change is due to concerns about keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5°C this century.

To do this, scientists say that wind and solar power must grow by around 20% each year until 2030.

The authors of this latest report say this is now “fully possible”.

The war in Ukraine could also give a boost to electricity sources that do not depend on Russian oil and gas imports.


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