A new climate report is predicting 2023 may be the first year renewable energy exceeds fossil fuel use to produce electricity, marking a “turning point” in the world’s transition to clean power.
“As soon as 2023, wind and solar could push the world into a new era of falling fossil generation, and therefore of falling power sector emissions,” the report from Ember, a global energy think tank, said.
The fourth annual report analysed electricity data from 78 countries that represent 93 per cent of global electricity demand and the top ten CO2-emitting countries that represent 80 per cent of global CO2 to estimate changes.
Ember found that solar and wind generated 12 per cent of global electricity in 2022 at 436 gCO2/kWh — the cleanest electricity has ever been, even beating 2020.
If this trend continues, 2023 will be the first year for this to happen outside of a recession or pandemic.
“2022 will be remembered as a turning point in the world’s transition to clean power,” the report said.
Ember’s Non-Executive Chairs said the report showed “significant strides” in the transition toward “a sustainable and decarbonized energy system.”
However, despite the positive change in renewable energy powering electricity, coal and other fossils continued to be the primary source of energy, creating a new record high.
This is because the electricity demand also grew in 2022, which wind and solar were not able to keep up with, forcing fossils to close the gap.
But wind and solar were still able to meet 80 per cent of the increase in electricity demand. China was a leader in using renewable energy with wind and solar meeting 69 per cent of its electricity demand. In the US, wind and solar met 68 per cent of the demand growth.