Simon Tusha

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Renewable Energy is Booming

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The year 2020 will be remembered for a lot of things, but years from now it may be best known as the time that solar voltaic power in the world. That was confirmed by the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 464-page “World Energy Outlook Report 2020.”

The importance of this milestone cannot be overstated considering that world energy consumption has been dominated by fossil fuels since the advent of the Industrial Age. It means that solar and other renewables are transitioning from the status of “alternative energy” to what will become the primary source of power globally.

Even though the world economy was ravaged by the effects of COVID-19 in 2020, renewable energy capacity. Some 90% of that new power capacity came from solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels and other sources. Wind was the top performer, doubling its growth. Next was solar. It enjoyed a 23% increase in 2020. All together, renewables increased 10.3%.

Much of this impressive performance is the and its aggressive efforts to gain more energy from sources that are not fossil fuels. China’s motivation is multi-faceted. Its economy continues to expand at a rapid rate requiring larger amounts of power. Second, Chinese officials are fairly desperate to find a solution to the massive air pollution problem burning coal is creating for its major cities, especially Beijing.

Chinese policy goals have set a date of 2060 to become carbon neutral. If it wants to achieve that goal, China must shut down hundreds of its coal-fired plants. China still gets 65% of its power from the dirtiest form of energy – coal.

The United States, several EU nations and Vietnam are cited by the IEA as the countries that round out the top performers in adding renewable energy. All of the above made it possible for the worldwide energy consumption profile to achieve 36.6% renewable at the end of 2020.

is the executive director of the IEA. He said world governments need to capitalize on the momentum of renewable energy while upgrading and creating new kinds of grid structures that accommodate clean-green energy. He added that a “massive expansion” of clean electrical power is crucial if the world is going to reach net-carbon status by 2050 or 2060.

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