Report: Renewables Account for 30% of World's Electricity

Report: Renewables Account for 30% of World's Electricity
Image copyright: Maja Hitij/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • According to a new report from climate think tank Ember, renewable energy powered 30% of the world's electricity last year, up from 19% 24 years ago. Researchers said this was due to a large increase in wind and solar power.

  • With the inclusion of nuclear energy, 40% of electricity was generated by renewable energy last year. The change has resulted in a record low carbon intensity, down 12% from its 2007 peak.

The Spin

Narrative A

Despite hiccups with hydropower, the entire world seems to be on track to achieve the 1.5°C temperature goal. With years of steady increases in solar and wind-generated electricity, including from countries like China, we now know what it takes to make the world renewable. Electricity is a top source of emissions, which also means making it green will be a leading cause of lowering CO2.

Narrative B

While headlines about growing renewable energy superficially appear positive, the story is much more depressing for working class people on the ground. From California in the US to Germany and France, the rapid passage of climate legislation across the West has wrecked the finances of farmers and homeowners. Renewable energy certainly has the potential to become the future, but efforts to increase the rapidity of infrastructure change are economically unsustainable.

Metaculus Prediction

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