Renewables on the rise: Wind and solar power are amping up!

London, UK - There's some much-needed excellent news for climate change in the form of a new report showing that the swift growth of renewable energy saw solar and wind push past a major milestone in 2021.

Renewable energy is rising fast, and solar and wind are charging ahead.
Renewable energy is rising fast, and solar and wind are charging ahead.  © Imago / Blickwinkel

The UK-based energy think tank Ember ran the numbers on 2021's power generation, and for the first time in history, 10% of the world's electricity came from wind and solar power.

This milestone marks a big moment for renewables, and if trends continue, then green energy will keep growing, fast.

In total, renewable energy sources accounted for 38% of all electricity last year, passing coal, which generated 36%.

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And it's a good thing, too, because after the rebound in power draw after the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 saw a rise in power demand equal to adding another India to the planet.

Wind and solar will need to keep growing fast, though, if the world is to stay on track for its goal of stopping global warming before it passes an average of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

That means 20% more solar and wind each year, at least, until 2030. The Ember report found that this would be the same rate of growth as the average for the past 10 years, so it is doable.

However, polluting energy sources grew, too, with a leap in coal use in 2021, and more work is needed to plug large methane leaks responsible for letting 25 tons of the greenhouse gas into the atmosphere every hour.

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."

Cover photo: Imago / Blickwinkel

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