Wind and solar energy are the fastest-growing sources of electricity, and have reached a record 10.3 per cent share in global electricity generation in 2021 – a milestone reached by 50 countries.
Energy think tank Ember’s third annual Global Electricity Review recently published includes the latest data on electricity generation last year, for 75 countries representing 93 per cent of global power demand, along with the 2000-2020 period for 209 countries.
The report has found that clean sources generated 38 per cent of the world’s electricity last year, more than coal which stood at 36 per cent. It was a record 10 per cent share of global power generation achieved in wind and solar last year, Ember’s global lead Dave Jones said.
“Wind and solar have arrived. The process that will reshape the existing energy system has begun. This decade they need to be deployed at lightning speed to reverse global emissions increases and tackle climate change.”
The report revealed that 50 countries have reached the milestone last year, including five of the world’s largest economies including US, China, Japan, Germany and the UK. Seven new countries, China, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Argentina, Hungary, and El Salvador, joined the club for the first-time last year.
Still, according to the report, the fastest transformation is happening in the Netherlands, Australia, and Vietnam, each of which have seen around a tenth of their electricity demand switch from fossil fuels to wind and solar in the last two years.
Ten countries generated more than 25 per cent of their electricity from wind and solar in 2021, led by Denmark at 52 per cent. The share of wind and solar has doubled since 2015, when the Paris Agreement was signed, while it was 9.3 per cent in 2020, according to the report.
Wind and solar generation grew by 17 per cent last year. The global solar generation has increased 23 per cent in 2021 and was the fastest rising source of electricity generation for the 17th year running. Generation rose year-on-year by 188 terawatt-hours to 1,023 terawatt-hours, as solar generated 3.7 per cent of the world’s electricity in 2021. This was up from just 1.1 per cent in 2015.