Wind and solar, the fastest growing sources of electricity, reach a record ten percent of global electricity in 2021; all clean power is now 38% of supply. But demand growth rebounded, leading to a record rise in coal power and emissions.
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In our February Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), we introduced new forecasts of U.S. production, consumption, and the net of imports less exports of biodiesel, renewable diesel, and other biofuels in the United States. This new breakout provides a more detailed forecast for U.S. renewable diesel production. In previous STEO releases, we forecast biomass-based diesel consumption, which combined all production and imports of biodiesel consumed in the United States with imported volumes of renewable diesel, but we did not include domestically produced renewable diesel. Differentiating biodiesel from renewable diesel, provides a more precise accounting of biomass-based diesel.
EIA expects non-hydroelectric renewable energy resources such as solar and wind will be the fastest growing source of U.S. electricity generation for at least the next two years. EIA’s January 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecasts that electricity generation from utility-scale solar generating units will grow by 10% in 2019 and by 17% in 2020.
Renewable generation provided a new record of 742 million megawatthours (MWh) of electricity in 2018, nearly double the 382 million MWh produced in 2008. Renewables provided 17.6% of electricity generation in the United States in 2018.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.
No single policy can solve climate change, but a broad portfolio of policies already available to policymakers can drive down emissions. The most-effective policies in each countries may vary, but new modeling abilities highlight a small set of policies, aimed at specific segments of the economy, can achieve the deep decarbonization necessary to stay below the two-degrees Celsius target.
Renewable energy is derived from resources that are replenished naturally on a human timescale. Such resources include biomass, geothermal heat, sunlight, water, and wind. All of these sources have their strengths and weaknesses. Some are more suited to certain locations than others, for instance. Some only produce electricity intermittently (when the sun is shining in the case of solar), though they can be paired with energy storage solutions to provide reliable electricity 24 hours a day throughout the year. Others, such as biomass, hydropower, and geothermal, can be used as baseload generation, producing a constant, predictable supply of electricity. None of these sources can meet all of our electricity needs effectively. But, together, they can completely displace fossil fuels without increasing the cost of electricity.