Wind and solar, the fastest-growing sources of electricity, reached a record of 10.3% share in global electricity generation in 2021 - a milestone reached by 50 countries, according to a new report by think-tank Ember published Wednesday.
Ember's third annual Global Electricity Review includes latest data for electricity generation in 2021 for 75 countries representing 93% of global power demand along with the 2000-2020 period for 209 countries.
The report found that clean sources generated 38% of the world's electricity last year, more than coal which stood at 36%.
Wind and solar accounted for 10% of global electricity generation making a record in 2021.
'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,' Ember's global lead Dave Jones, said.
The report revealed that 50 countries reached the milestone last year including five of the world's largest economies including the 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.
According to the report, the fastest transformation is happening in the Netherlands, Australia and Vietnam which have seen around a tenth of electricity demand switch from fossil fuels to wind and solar in the last two years.
Ten countries generated more than 25% of their electricity from wind and solar in 2021, led by Denmark at 52%.
The share of the wind and solar has doubled since 2015 when the Paris Agreement was signed while it was 9.3% in 2020, according to the report.
- Solar becomes fastest rising source of electricity
Wind and solar generation grew by 17% last year.
Global solar generation increased 23% in 2021 and it was the fastest rising source of electricity generation for the 17th year running.
Generation rose year-on-year by 188 terawatt-hours to1,023 terawatt-hours as solar generated 3.7% of the world's electricity in 2021. This was up from just 1.1% in 2015, when the Paris Agreement was signed.
Global wind generation rose 14% last year rising by 227 terawatt-hours to 1,814 terawatt-hours marking the highest absolute growth ever.
It was the fastest-growing source of electricity after solar. Long term trend Wind generated 6.6% of the world’s electricity in 2021, up from 3.5% in 2015, when the Paris Agreement was signed.
To get the power sector on track for 1.5 degrees, wind and solar need to sustain compound growth rates of 20% every year to 2030, which was the average rate of growth over the last decade, Ember said.
'Clean electricity now needs to be built on a heroic scale. Leaders are only just waking up to the challenge of how quickly they need to move 100% clean electricity,' Jones underlined.
- Growing demand leads to record rise in CO2 emissions
The report showed that global electricity demand rebounded after the pandemic to the largest ever annual increase in 2021 with 1,414 terawatt-hours. This is the equivalent of adding a new India to the world's electricity demand.
Wind and solar only met 29% of the global increase in electricity demand last year despite the record growth while the rest of the demand increase was met by fossil fuels.
As a result, coal power saw the fastest growth since at least 1985 with9% increase, rising to a new all-time high of 10,042 terawatt-hours.
The increase in fossil fuels pushed global power sector CO2 emissions to an all-time high, beating the previous record in 2018 by 3%, according to the report.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya