Wind And Solar Now Generate One-Tenth Of Global Electricity

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Ember’s new half-year analysis shows evidence that wind and solar have quickly increased to become a major source of electricity in most countries in the world, and are successfully reducing coal burn throughout the world.

The report aggregates national electricity generation for 48 countries making up 83% of global electricity production. It builds on Ember’s annual Global Electricity Review, released in March 2020.

Some key findings

  • Wind and solar generation rose 14% in the first half of this year (H1-2020) compared to H1-2019, generating almost a tenth (9.8%) of global electricity. In the 48 countries analysed, wind and solar generation rose from 992 terawatt hours in 2019 to 1,129 terawatt hours in H1-2020. That meant wind and solar’s share of global electricity has risen from 8.1% in 2019 to 9.8% in H1-2020; and their share more than doubled from 4.6% in 2015, when the Paris Climate Agreement was signed. Wind and solar generated almost as much CO2-free power as nuclear power plants, which generated 10.5% of global electricity in H1-2020 and whose share remained unchanged from 2019.
  • Many key countries now generate around a tenth of their electricity from wind and solar: China (10%), the US (12%), India (10%), Japan (10%), Brazil (10%) and Turkey (13%). The EU and UK were substantially higher with 21% and 33% respectively; within the EU, Germany rose to 42%. Russia is the largest country so far to shun wind and solar, with just 0.2% of its electricity from wind and solar.