New milestone for renewables in global production

Ioanna Souka, data analyst, spoke about the recent Global Electricity Review by British think tank Ember – which already counts many references –  to journalist Nikos Andritsos during SKAI 100.3’s “Euranet” radio show.

Οne of the report’s key findings is that for the first time renewables generated a record 30% of global electricity in 2023. As Ioanna Souka said, this was mainly due to the strong growth of solar and less so of wind.

On the other hand, the report also raises points of concern: despite the significant increase in the share of clean energy, only photovoltaics are close to the growth rate compatible with the International Energy Agency’s scenario of zero net emissions in 2050 (net zero). In contrast, wind growth has slowed down over the last 2 years.

At the same time, despite the progress of renewables, in 2023 coal (lignite and black coal) remained the dominant source of electricity generation worldwide with a share of 35%. As noted by the Green Tank data analyst, drought caused a five-year low in hydropower, which created a shortfall that was met in large part by coal.

Due to the increase in coal, there was a corresponding 1% rise in global emissions in power generation last year.

However, there is optimism for 2024, which is expected to be the first year in which emissions from power generation will fall, as it is estimated that the growth in electricity demand will be more than met by renewables and hydropower will recover, leading to a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

As far as Greece is concerned, it ranks 2nd in the world in terms of solar energy share and 7th in terms of wind energy share. This great progress is also reflected in the first quarter of 2024, in which we had a 58% share of clean energy in electricity generation.

Therefore, Ioanna Souka underlined that greater penetration of renewables is a one-way street to reduce emissions in electricity generation in Greece and globally. At the same time, the alarming increase of fossil gas in electricity generation and the problem of RES cuts may pose a threat to their further development. However, there are solutions – and it is imperative to move forward with them immediately – such as energy storage, demand response systems and upgrading of electricity grids.

Ioanna Souka was a guest on SKAI 100.3’s “Euranet” on 12 May 2024. You can listen to the broadcast in Greek here.