Global wind and solar energy generation was on the rise by 14% in the first half of this year, as global coal generation fell by 8.3%, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from an EMBER report, a London- based independent climate think-tank focusing on global electricity transition.
According to the report, 48 countries were analyzed where wind and solar generation rose from 992 terawatt-hours in 2019 to 1,129 terawatt-hours in the first half of this year.
'That meant wind and solar’s share of global electricity has risen from 8.1% in 2019 to 9.8% in H1-2020; and their share more than doubled from 4.6% in 2015, when the Paris Climate Agreement was signed,' the report read.
'Wind and solar generated almost as much CO2-free power as nuclear power plants, which generated 10.5% of global electricity in H1-2020 and whose share
remained unchanged from 2019,' the report indicated.
The data for the first half of the year showed that key countries generated a tenth on average of their electricity from wind and solar.
'China 10%, the US 12%, India 10%, Japan 10%, Brazil 10% and Turkey 13%,' the report said.
- Coal to wind and solar
The report revealed that the fall in global coal generation for the first half of the year broke a new record from the year-on-year fall of 3% in 2019, which at the time was the biggest fall since at least 1990.
The fall in the first half of the year was due to a 3% drop in global electricity demand from COVID-19, as well as from rising wind and solar generation.
Although 70% of the drop in coal in the first half of the year can be attributed to lower electricity demand due to COVID-19, 30% can be attributed to increased wind and solar generation.
The US and the EU are racing to reduce coal, with falls of 31% and 32%, respectively. China’s coal share fell only by 2%, meaning its share of global coal generation rose to 54% to date - up from 50% in 2019 and 44% in 2015.
Commenting on the report results, Senior Electricity Analyst at Ember, Dave Jones, stated that, “countries across the world are now on the same path - building wind
turbines and solar panels to replace electricity from coal and gas-fired power plants.
'But to keep a chance of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees, coal generation needs to fall by 13% every year this decade,' he said.
'The fact that, during a global pandemic, coal generation has still only fallen by 8% shows just how far off-track we still are. We have the solution, it’s working, it’s just not happening fast enough,' he warned.
By Gulsen Cagatay