This is the beginning of the end. We are entering a new beginning, and a new dawn for clean, green fuels. Each year the world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. The world is finally producing renewable energy at an industrial scale. This seismic shift of harnessing power from the winds, waves, and sun had its turning point in 2013; and positively the economic analyses and the technological breakthroughs show that there is no going back to the old, dirty, pollutant past.
This power generation shift from unsustainable fossil fuels that could potentially stall global warming below a 2 degree Celsius rise is hugely welcomed when so much climate change reporting is negative. What is especially interesting is how the oil and gas industry’s demise is now more often being reported in the business press. And how Bloomberg has placed renewable energy on a pedestal by creating their New Energy Finance annual summit.
Another interesting point is that while renewables are reaching cost parity with fossil fuels and out-performing fossil fuels especially in terms of newly-installed capacity, solar still makes up less than 1% of the electricity market today! Even more positive is that industry experts at the International Energy Agency predict that solar could be the largest source of electricity by mid-century. So long, fossil fools! The forecast looks sunny for solar!
The shift occurred in 2013, when the world added 143 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity, compared with 141 gigawatts in new plants that burn fossil fuels The question is no longer if the world will transition to cleaner energy, but how long it will take. In the chart, BNEF forecasts the billions of dollars that need to be invested each year in order to avoid the most severe consequences of climate change, represented by a benchmark increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius.