The UK's renewable electricity outpaced its fossil fuel generation for the first time in 2020 and could remain the largest source of electricity in the future, according to an independent climate thinktank. The thinktank behind the report, Ember, revealed that renewable energy generated by wind, sunlight, water and wood made up 42% of the UK's electricity last year compared with 41% generated from gas and coal plants together. Although renewable energy has overtaken fossil fuels during the summer months before, 2020 was the first time that renewables were the main source of the UK's electricity over a year. Renewable energy also outperformed fossil fuels across the EU for the first time, according to the report, following a collapse in the use of coal last year. Ember said the UK's growing stable of windfarms was one of the main reasons for the country's renewable record.
A new interactive website has revealed the major power sources used around the world to power homes and businesses. It shows the proportion of each country's electricity generation, broken down by fossil fuels, nuclear power and renewable sources. It also highlights the proportion of the planet reliant on oil and gas, as well as those nations leading the way, and those falling behind. A new interactive website'What Powers the World?' reveals the major power sources used around the world to power homes and businesses, and keep the lights on (pictured). The map was produced by price comparison website gocompare.com
Germany plans to add 40 gigawatts of solar and wind capacity by 2025 as part of the country's plan to have 65% of its power generation come from renewable energy by 2030. Under Germany's proposed renewable energy law -- commonly referred to by the acronym EEG for Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz -- 16.7 gigawatts of onshore wind will be auctioned through 2025, while solar projects will undergo 10.7 GW in auctions. Offshore wind auctions will seek 9 gigawatts. Under an "auction," developers of renewable energy bid the lowest price they are willing to accept to develop renewable energy projects. The country's aforementioned 65% target would require a total of 377 terawatt-hours of generation from renewable energy sources.
Listening to the Trump administration advocate for reviving coal, one might get the impression that a fossil fuel resurgence is taking place in the U.S. and abroad. However, the global statistics tell a far different story about where the world is getting its energy, with unprecedented thresholds crossed by renewable energy technologies like solar and wind power. A major new report released Wednesday morning shows that, for the first time ever, 2016 saw solar photovoltaics, or solar PV, take the lead for the fastest electricity capacity growth when compared to any other fuel, beating the net growth in coal. The rapid expansion of solar and wind energy in global electricity markets is a positive sign for those working to limit the severity of global warming, which is caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil. The report, by the International Energy Agency (IEA), finds that renewables represented almost two-thirds of new net electric capacity additions in 2016, with almost 165 gigawatts coming online worldwide.
China says it will drastically boost its spending on renewable energy over the next four years. The United States, meanwhile, may head down a different path under Trump. China's energy agency said Thursday it would plow 2.5 trillion yuan, or $361 billion, into clean electricity projects by 2020 as part of a broader effort to shift the nation away from fossil fuels. SEE ALSO: China announces a'game-changing' step for elephant conservation Although coal-fired power plants have helped drive China's manufacturing growth in the past decade, the facilities have also created a slew of public health crises, such as dangerous smog in northern China and toxic water pollution. The country in recent years has started shuttering coal plants near Beijing and scrapped plans for new ones, all the while investing more in alternative sources.