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30% of world’s power now comes from renewables, fossil fuels set to decline

May 14

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A recent report from climate think tank Ember has revealed a record-setting 30% of the world’s electricity was generated from renewable energy sources in 2023. Experts said this milestone now sets the stage for a potential global decline in fossil fuel usage, with projections indicating that this shift could occur as early as 2024.

“In this decisive decade for the climate, it is the beginning of the end of the fossil age,” said Małgorzata Wiatros-Motyka, a senior electricity analyst at Ember. “We are entering the clean power era. The stage is set for wind and solar to achieve a meteoric rise to the top. Clean electricity will reshape the global economy, from transport to industry and beyond.”

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While energy-related greenhouse gas emissions reached a new record high a year ago, the power was produced more efficiently than ever before. The amount of carbon pollution produced per unit of electricity has reached unprecedented lows, signaling progress in decarbonizing the global power sector.

The rise of renewables has also contributed to a slowdown in the proliferation of fossil fuels, with their growth rate decreasing by almost two-thirds over the past decade. Over half of the world’s nations have already surpassed their peak in fossil fuel-generated electricity by at least five years, helping to drive this drop off of more carbon intensive energy sources.

“Not many people realize just how many countries’ power sectors are already well into a phase of fossil decline,” said Dave Jones, a global insights lead at Ember. “We are on the cusp of a new era of fossil decline in the global power sector.”

Despite these achievements, Ember emphasizes that there is still much work to be done in the transition to renewable energy. The think tank advocates for a tripling of global renewable capacity by 2030, a goal that surpasses even the targets previously proposed by the United Nations.

“Tripling renewables and doubling efficiency will deliver 85% of the cuts in unabated fossil fuels required by 2030,” Ember said in its report. “By 2035, renewables and efficiency will alone more than halve total CO2 emissions, unlocking a fossil fuel phaseout.”

This ambitious target reflects concerns that existing pollutants in the atmosphere will continue to have adverse environmental effects, even as fossil fuel usage declines. Scientists caution that even if greenhouse gas emissions were slashed to zero today, the planet would continue to warm for years due to the damage already inflicted on the environment.

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JACK ALYMER:

NEARLY A THIRD OF THE WORLD IS NOW POWERED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY.

IT’S A RECORD AND A POTENTIAL SIGN OF THINGS TO COME.

EXPERTS SAY A GLOBAL DECLINE IN THE USE OF FOSSIL FUELS IS NEXT, AND IT COULD COME THIS YEAR.

THIS MONTH A CLIMATE THINK TANK RECENTLY PUBLISHED A REPORT DETAILING HOW 30 PERCENT OF THE PLANET’S ELECTRICITY WAS PRODUCED FROM RENEWABLES LAST YEAR.

THEY BELIEVE THIS WILL SET THE STAGE FOR A DROP OFF IN MORE CARBON INTENSIVE POWER SOURCES-
SAYING THERE’S EVIDENCE 20-23 WILL BE THE FINAL YEAR IN HISTORY WHERE EMISSIONS FROM THE WORLD’S POWER SECTOR GREW.

ENERGY-RELATED GREENHOUSE GAS OUTPUT HIT A NEW RECORD HIGH A YEAR AGO, BUT THE POWER PRODUCED WAS DONE SO MORE EFFICIENTLY.

NEVER BEFORE HAS THE ​​AMOUNT OF CARBON POLLUTION PRODUCED PER UNIT OF ELECTRICITY BEEN SO LOW.

THIS RISE IN RENEWABLES HAS HELPED PUSH FOSSIL FUELS TOWARDS A DECLINE, SLOWING THEIR GROWTH BY ALMOST TWO-THIRDS OVER THE PAST DECADE.

ALREADY, OVER HALF OF THE WORLD’S NATIONS ARE FIVE YEARS PAST THEIR PEAK IN FOSSIL FUEL-GENERATED ELECTRICITY.

YET, EXPERTS SAY THERE’S STILL PLENTY MORE TO BE DONE.

RESEARCHERS ARE PUSHING FOR A TRIPLING OF GLOBAL RENEWABLE CAPACITY BY 20-30, A GOAL THAT EXCEEDS EVEN WHAT THE U.N. HAS PROPOSED.

THIS AMBITION COMES FROM CONCERN THE POLLUTANTS ALREADY IN OUR ATMOSPHERE WILL STILL HAVE NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS EVEN AS FOSSIL FUEL USE DROPS.

SCIENTISTS WARN EVEN IF WE SLASHED ALL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS TODAY, THE PLANET WOULD CONTINUE TO WARM FOR YEARS BECAUSE OF THE DAMAGE THAT’S BEEN DONE.

[GFX]
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