Wind and solar have ensured a “record level” of global electricity in 2022
Renewables are progressing but remain in the shadow of coal. This is what emerges from the 4th “Global Electricity Review” report by the think tank Ember, which specializes in energy, and which was relayed by theFrance Media Agency.
According to the document, which is based on open data from the electricity sector of 78 countries accounting for 93% of the world’s electricity demand, the wind and solar sectors provided 12% of the electricity production on a global scale. last year, which is a record level. The energy crisis caused by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict – with the gradual closing of the gas pipelines operated by Moscow and the soaring prices on the international markets – has led a number of countries to review their copy in terms of energy supply.
This has often resulted in an acceleration in the development of their capacities forrenewable energies. Combined together, “all clean electricity sources (renewable and nuclear, editor’s note) reached 39% of global electricity, a new record”underline the authors of Ember, quoted by theAFP.
The rest of the production was covered “by fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal)”. The wind farms and solar power plants have therefore distinguished themselves by achieving “a record 12% of the world’s electricity”, compared to 5% in 2015. Some sixty countries draw more than 10% of their electricity from these two renewable energy sectors. The European Union is in the lead, with 22% of its electricity from renewable sources, and a 24% growth in its solar capacity between 2021 and 2022.
New record for CO2 emissions
However, as demand for electricity continued to grow, the use of coal increased by 1.1% over the same period. “Despite this progress, coal remained the world’s largest source of electricity, producing 36% of the world’s electricity in 2022”, says the report. This persistent use of gas and coal to meet the demand for electricity has resulted in “climb (greenhouse gas) emissions to a new record” 12 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2022, which corresponds to an increase of 1.3%.
Last year could nevertheless have been that of the “peak of emissions linked to the electricity sector and the last year of growth of fossil energy” in this same sector. In 2023, the authors of Ember predict “a small decline in fossil production (-0.3%), with larger declines in subsequent years as deployment wind and solar will accelerate”.
In France, both public authorities and professionals in the renewable energy sector are counting on the recent promulgation of the law on the acceleration of renewables to move up a gear. If the photovoltaic recorded historically high results in France in 2022, wind power has run out of steamwhile renewable gases have dug their furrow.