The New Normal? Renewables Solidify Their Presence on the Grid

An increase in wind and solar power means that carbon emissions from global electricity may peak this year, a climate think tank has found. 

While global power-sector emissions rose by 0.2% in the first 6 months, wind and solar power climbed to 14.3% of the world’s electricity, up from 12.8% last year. 

Think tank Ember said that renewables are growing at such a fast pace that it is close to the rate required for the world to reach the capacity needed to keep global temperatures at 1.5C. 

Solar energy in particular grew by 26% in the first half of the year, compared with the first six months of 2022. 

In fact, 50 countries have set new monthly records for solar energy. 

In comparison, global electricity demand rose by 0.4% in the first half of 2023 compared with the same period last year, a far cry from the 10-year average of 2.6% before that. 

The findings suggest that the peak of the global energy sector’s carbon emissions could soon begin to fall in line with global climate targets. 

Malgorzata Wiatros-Motyka, Ember’s senior electricity analyst and the lead author of the report, expressed hope that 2023 could see a fall in power-sector emissions. 

“The world is teetering at the peak of power-sector emissions, and we now need to unleash the momentum for a rapid decline in fossil fuels by securing a global agreement to triple renewables capacity this decade,” she said. 

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