Time for some good news. Apparently, the world’s capacity to generate electricity through renewable energy sources has just managed to exceed the capacity through non renewable sources. The data comes straight from the International Energy Agency.
According to data from the IEA, the world can now produce more renewable energy than non renewable. The word here is “can“, which is not the same as does. Many renewable energy sources are dependent upon other factors — for example, wind energy is dependent upon flow of wind, solar energy upon weather conditions and so on — and as such, it is impossible to utilize them with 100 percent efficiency.
However, the fact that the world’s capacity for renewable energy has managed to exceed that through coal and its brethren, is still very impressive.
According to the IEA report, almost half a million solar panels were installed every day of the last year, in the world. It also says that China has has two wind turbines set up every two hours during the same period.
Speaking on the topic, IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said
We are witnessing a transformation of global power markets led by renewables.
The expansion of renewable energy capacity reflects cost reductions for onshore wind and solar panels that the report describes as impressive and indeed “unthinkable just five years ago”.
IEA also says that the declining costs will likely continue well into the future. So, you can expect more wind farms ald solar farms to pop up. While Hydropower is also expected to continue growing, the growth rate is expected to see a slowdown.
A few countries are said to be driving this growth. Notably, US, China, India and Mexico — all of which have made significant policy changes to reflect their enthusiasm for renewable energy sources. China in particular, has driven almost 40 percent of the total growth in renewable energy capacity on its own. Even then, we are barely scratching the surface of what is possible.
Even these higher expectations remain modest compared with the huge untapped potential of renewables.
IEA says that these goals are indeed achievable, however, they require much greater effort and,
stronger decarbonisation rates [which means the replacement of fossil fuels] and accelerated penetration of renewables in all three sectors: power, transport and heat.
Well, we certainly hope that these goals are achieved, and soon. The greatest issue with non-renewable resources is that we are quickly running out of them. Unless we can change our dependency from non renewable to renewable energy sources, thing might just come to a head. This recent piece of news from IEA is certainly a good sign.