June 29, 2020


After 134 years, renewables beat coal in US - and head to 50 pct share by 2030 (Fereidoon Sioshansi, 29 June 2020, Renew Economy)

Coal is facing strong head winds in Europe as well. In April 2020, Sweden announced the closure of its last coal-fired power plant 2 years ahead of its pledge to exit coal. Perhaps all those Friday sit-ins by Greta Thunberg in front of the Swedish parliament were not in vain. Belgium got out of coal in 2016 as did Austria in 2020 with 6 other European countries,

France, Slovakia, Portugal, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Italy, planning to do the same by 2025 followed by another 5 by 2030 and Germany by 2038.

In the case of the US, the continued growth of renewables is almost entirely attributable to wind and solar.

According to the EIA 2019 also marked the year when wind generation surpassed hydro for the first time, becoming the biggest source of renewable generation in the US.

In the meantime, solar output is accelerating, and it is a matter of time before it exceeds wind. And together, they will soon exceed nuclear, eventually even natural gas.

What is noteworthy, however, is not that renewable generation continues to grow while coal output declines and nuclear stays steady before it begins its eventual decline, but the speed of the transition over the past decade and - even more important - the next.

The rise of wind and solar in the past decade across the globe has been nothing short of miraculous. It took roughly 10 years for wind to beat hydro in the US (visual above).

Posted by at June 29, 2020 12:00 AM