‘Wind and solar make the case’: Renewables meet surge in electricity demand in first half of 2022

The vitality disaster has some firms and politicians calling for elevated fossil gasoline exploration, however new information present that this determination is pointless in addition to dangerous to keep away from the worst impacts of the local weather disaster.

The entire elevated electrical energy demand within the first half of 2022 was met by renewable vitality, information launched Wednesday by vitality assume tank Ember confirmed.

“Wind and photo voltaic are proving themselves in the course of the vitality disaster,” Malgoza Viatros-Motika, senior vitality analyst at Ember, wrote within the report. “Step one to ending the grip of pricy and polluting fossil fuels is constructing sufficient clear vitality to satisfy the world’s rising urge for food for electrical energy.”

The findings got here as a part of Ember’s International Electrical energy Mid-12 months Insights for 2022. Within the first six months of the yr, electrical energy demand elevated by 389 terawatt hours, or three % in comparison with the primary six months of 2021. This coincided with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, which helped precipitate a world vitality disaster.

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Nonetheless, throughout that very same time interval, renewable vitality manufacturing elevated by 416 terawatt hours. Which means renewables truly meet 107 % of demand, The Impartial reported. Seventy-seven % of the elevated demand has been met by new wind and solar energy sources, with hydroelectric energy filling the hole, in keeping with the report. This isn’t solely a superb signal for the long run. This meant that no fossil fuels have been burned as an alternative.

“Wind and photo voltaic development within the first half of 2022 prevented a 4 % enhance in fossil gasoline manufacturing,” Wiatros-Motyka wrote within the report. “This averted $40 billion in gasoline prices and 230 Mt of CO2 emissions.”

On a country-by-country foundation, new wind and photo voltaic vitality sources meet 92 % of electrical energy demand in China, 81 % within the US, and 23 % in India. The evaluation is predicated on information from 75 nations that account for 90 % of world electrical energy demand.

Does this imply we’re lastly approaching peak demand for fossil fuels? Renewables met electrical energy demand in 2015 and 2019, however each have been years of lower-than-average electrical energy demand development, whereas the primary six months of 2022 noticed common development.

“We’re nearer to the tipping level the place renewables are in a position to meet the expansion in world electrical energy demand because the world strikes in the direction of higher electrification,” Ember’s world program supervisor Dave Jones instructed AFP.

However we’re not there but, as evidenced by the truth that coal and gasoline use elevated in July and August, when a drought and warmth wave in China brought about a scarcity of hydropower there, the report stated. Due to this fact, 2022 may once more be a file yr for fossil gasoline manufacturing and carbon dioxide emissions from the vitality sector, regardless of a promising begin.

“International emissions from the vitality sector are nonetheless reaching all-time highs when they need to be falling very quickly,” Wiatros-Motyka stated within the report. “And the identical fossil fuels which might be pushing us right into a local weather disaster are additionally inflicting the worldwide vitality disaster.” Now we have an answer: wind and photo voltaic are homegrown and low-cost, and are already quickly decreasing each payments and emissions.”

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