2022 was a landmark year for renewable energy, as renewable sources set a record for global energy production and made significant strides in addressing climate change. This achievement can be credited to organisations embracing the technology and to the coordination of nations around the world taking climate action and showing commitment to reducing emissions.
Renewable energy continues to emerge as an important form of clean energy, becoming increasingly accessible and cost-effective. By expanding clean energy solutions, renewable energy has demonstrated it can play a strong role in providing reliable forms of renewable energy while also complementing other efforts at climate action.
Here are six achievements in renewable energy across the globe that we took note of:
53.3 percent of electricity consumption in Denmark was from renewables
Denmark made remarkable strides towards renewable energy in the first half of 2022, generating an impressive 10.9 TWh from windmills and solar panels – an increase of 12 percent from the 2020 record. This surge has caused renewable energy sources to make up a stunning 53.3 percent of the nation’s electricity consumption – yet another all-time high, as Denmark continues its dedication to climate action and reducing emissions. Renewable energy is becoming a more prominent part of Denmark’s power infrastructure.
23 percent more energy was generated by solar PV in Germany
According to preliminary data by the Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics (AGEE-Stat), sunny weather and increased renewable energy production have allowed Germany to reach new heights in their renewable energy goals in 2022. Solar PV production rose 23 percent compared to 2021, while wind power production also saw a marked increase.
The AGEE-Stat estimates that renewables will have produced 46 percent of German power consumption in 2022, up from 41 percent the previous year. This is a tremendous accomplishment for climate action initiatives, as renewable energy is a major factor in reducing emissions from electricity generation. Germany’s efforts are setting an excellent example for other nations striving for similar feats of renewable energy implementation.
PV in Europe grew by 47 percent in 2022
In another impressive year for renewable energy, SolarPower Europe estimated that solar Photovoltaics (PV) use in Europe grew by a record 47 percent from 2021 to 2022. Leaders of the renewable revolution included Germany, Spain and Poland, with Germany installing the most with 7.9 GW followed by Spain at 7.5 GW, and Poland at 4.9 GW.
More importantly, this is the first time in history where all top 10 European solar markets added more than 1 GW of new renewable energy generated from solar PV sources. This strong growth reflects clear progress on commitments towards greater climate action and shows our potential to reduce emissions significantly through greater renewable energy adoption.
Record solar summer in Europe saves €29bn in gas imports
In 2022, the EU shattered previous records for solar energy production. An impressive 99 TWh of power was generated by this renewable source – surpassing both wind and hydro in its contribution to Europe’s electricity mix. This led to a 12 percent share compared with coal’s 16 percent.
Impactful savings on fossil fuel costs also resulted. Had it not been for all that sunshine we enjoyed over the past four months, an estimated €29 billion would have been wasted. The most dramatic increase came from Poland where their output increased 26-fold since 2018. Finland and Hungary followed close behind at 5-times each. Ten out of 27 EU Member States produced more than one tenth of their total electricity needs via photovoltaic panels alone.
Great Britain produced a record amount of wind-powered electricity in 2022 (use of coal down to 1.5 percent from 43 percent in 2021)
Underscoring the importance of renewable energy and widespread climate action, renewable and nuclear sources made up more than half of electricity over five months in 2022 (February, May, October, November and December). This is a significant shift from 2012 when 43 percent of electricity was generated by coal – the highest emitting fossil fuel – to just 1.5 percent in 2022.
23 percent of the US’ electricity was generated by renewable energy sources, up by 14.3 percent
Renewables are becoming a bigger source of electricity generation in the US, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration. The Sun Day Campaign revealed that solar output was up 26 percent compared to YTD figures from 2021 and total renewable energy production rose 14 percent year-on-year – surpassing 5 percent of all US electric power for the first time ever.
This is indicative of an exciting change towards clean energy sources; our industrial sector can make positive steps forward with greener operations driven by advances in technology both now and into future periods.