Global power generation from renewable sources increased by 416 terawatt hours in the first half, according to the report. That is more than three times as much as the total electricity consumption in the Netherlands. As a result, renewable generation is growing at a faster rate than global power consumption, which increased by 389 terawatt hours. As a result, green energy is gaining an increasing market share. Wind and solar energy together accounted for ‘230 million tons of CO2 savings’ in the first half of this year, according to Ember.
In the first half of 2022, global wind power generation increased by 19 percent and solar power by 25 percent. In total, solar energy now accounts for 5 percent of global electricity and wind power for 8 percent. Energy from sun and wind is also becoming cheaper, especially when compared to the sky-high gas prices.
Total emissions from the energy sector increased
Despite the strong growth of more renewable energy sources, total greenhouse gas emissions from power generation increased by 1.7 percent in the first eight months of 2022. The peak of oil and gas consumption in the electricity sector may not yet be reached, Ember’s analysts say. According to climate scientists, greenhouse gas emissions must decrease very quickly in order to limit global warming.
“Emissions from the global energy sector are still rising to record highs, while they need to fall very quickly. And the same fossil fuels that are pushing us into a climate crisis are also causing the global energy crisis. We have a solution: wind and solar power are from homegrown and cheap, and are now quickly cutting both bills and emissions,” said Ember analyst Malgorzata Wiatros-Motyka.
Tipping point in sight
The increase in emissions had several causes. For example, some countries fell back on coal due to problems with the gas supply from Russia after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In France, the generation of nuclear energy was disappointing because many power stations were under maintenance. China drew much less electricity from hydropower due to the extreme drought in the summer.
According to Ember, the tipping point where the use of fossil fuels in the energy sector is halted by the growth of green energy is approaching. “However, power demand growth will also increase as the electrification of heating, transportation and industry increases this decade, meaning we will need even more clean electricity every year,” the analysts said.
Limited power grid capacity
Last year, about 9 percent of the total electricity consumption in the Netherlands was generated by solar panels. The limited capacity on the electricity network is becoming a problem in more and more places for the construction of new solar panels. Solar energy is important to the government, which wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% in 2030 compared to 1990 in order to limit global warming.