Wind and solar reached a record-high market share of 10% of global electricity in the first half of 2020, according to a report published on Thursday.
Wind and solar generation rose 14% in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, despite a 3% drop in demand globally due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, an independent think tank Ember said in its new global half-year electricity analysis, which aggregated national electricity generation for 48 countries making up 83% of global electricity production.
The generation increased from 992 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2019 to 1,129 TWh in January-June period of 2020, which means wind and solar's share of global electricity more than doubled from 4.6% in 2015, when the Paris Climate Agreement was signed.
- Global coal fleet ran at less than half of its capacity
According to the report, global coal generation fell 8.3% in the first half of 2020, compared to the same period of 2019.
The largest half-year fall in coal generation recorded since at least 1990, which means that this year, for the first time, the world's coal fleet ran at less than half of its capacity.
Although 70% of coal's fall in the first half of 2020 can be attributed to lower electricity demand due to the Covid-19 outbreak, 30% can be attributed to increased wind and solar generation.
Moreover, wind and solar have captured a-five-percentage points of the market share from coal since 2015.
Coal's share fell from 37.9% in 2015 to 33% in the first half of 2020, as wind and solar grew from 4.6% to 9.8%.
"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," said Dave Jones, Senior electricity analyst at Ember.
"But to keep a chance of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees, coal generation needs to fall by 13% every year this decade. 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," Jones added.
By Firdevs Yuksel