Wind and Solar Break Energy Records
London, 12 Apr (ONA) --- Experts are calling time on the fossil age as new analysis shows wind and solar power produced a record amount of the world’s electricity in 2022.
The renewables generated 12 per cent of global electricity in 2022, up from 10 per cent the previous year, according to the report from clean energy think tank Ember.
And while a small increase in coal burning pushed electricity emissions up to an all-time high, analysts predict this will be the peak of pollution.
If clean power meets all new demand this year as expected, Ember’s fourth annual Global Electricity Review forecasts a small fall in fossil generation in 2023. Larger falls are set to follow, as wind and solar deployment ramps up.
In 2022, solar was the fastest-growing source of electricity for the 18th year in a row, rising by 24 per cent from 2021. Ember estimates that sun-powered renewables added enough electricity to power all of South Africa, euronews reported.
Wind generation, meanwhile, soared by 17 per cent.
Altogether, clean electricity sources (renewables and nuclear) reached 39 per cent of global electricity. Hydropower produced 15 per cent of this new record, according to Ember’s data.
Despite this progress, coal power remained the single largest source of electricity worldwide, producing 36 per cent of all power in 2022.
The growth in wind and solar generation met an impressive 80 per cent of the rise in global electricity demand in 2022, helping to keep the fossil fuel in the ground. Coal generation rose by only 1.1 per cent, and gas power fell by a very slight 0.2 per cent.
Ember looked at electricity data from 78 countries, representing 93 per cent of global electricity demand. It reveals that over 60 countries now generate more than 10 per cent of their energy from wind and solar.
A number of European countries are surging ahead. Denmark had the biggest proportion of wind and solar power in its electricity mix at 60.8 per cent in 2022. Lithuania and Luxembourg follow with 48.4 and 46.6 per cent respectively, though this represents a relatively small amount of power in Terawatt-hour (TWh) terms.
By this metric, Germany produced the most wind and solar power of any European country at 185 TWh, followed by Spain and the UK.
Europe as a whole generated 805 TWh of electricity from wind and solar, which is dwarfed by China at 1,241 TWh (14 per cent of the country’s electric generation).