According to a new study, wind and solar-generated 10 per cent of global electricity for the first time in 2021. According to Ember, a climate and energy think group, fifty countries get more than a tenth of their power from wind and solar sources.
Rise in demand for Energy in 2021
Energy demand surged in the last year as the world’s economies struggled to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Owing to this, Electricity demand surged to an all-time high. Coal power increased at its quickest rate since 1985 throughout this period. According to the study, the increase in demand for electricity last year was equivalent to adding a new India to the global system.
Increased Share of Clean Energy in 2021
In 2021, the solar, wind, and other clean energy sources produced 38 per cent of the world’s electricity. For the first time, wind turbines and solar panels combined to create 10 per cent of total energy. Since 2015, when the Paris Climate Agreement was signed, the share of energy generated by wind and sun has more than doubled.
The Netherlands, Australia, and Vietnam were among the countries that made the most rapid transitions to wind and solar. In the last two years, all three have switched a tenth of their electricity demand from fossil fuels to renewables.
Increase in Use of Fossil Fuel Energy in Asian Countries including India and China
As the demand for energy increased, a large chunk of it was met by fossil fuels with coal-fired electricity rising by 9 per cent. Much of the growth in coal use occurred in Asian countries such as China and India; however, the increase in coal was not matched by an increase in gas use of only 1 per cent globally, showing that rising gas prices have made coal a more viable source of energy.
Despite coal’s recovery in 2021, major economies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada are planning to switch to 100 per cent power grids within the next 15 years, according to experts. Concerns about limiting the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius this century have prompted this shift.
Wind and solar power must develop at a rate of roughly 20 per cent every year until 2030, according to scientists. This is now “eminently achievable,” according to the authors of this study. This is because, on a levelized basis, wind and solar are the cheapest sources of electricity, with increasing global experience integrating them into networks at high levels. It is apparent that these technologies are delivering, with 50 countries currently generating more than 10 of their electricity from these quick-to-deploy resources, and three countries already generating more than 40 per cent.