No Tricks Zone | June 18, 2022
Global transition to green energies stagnates
This is reported by various media. Put simply, global energy demand is rising faster than the expansion of renewable energies, or at least so fast that the increases are only marginally reflected in the overall balance. There is, for example, the German taz (emphasis added):
A paltry two percentage points increase in an entire decade: In 2020, only 12.6 percent of global energy demand was met by renewable energies. In 2009, the figure was 10.6 percent. This is the conclusion drawn by the think tank REN21 in a report presented by energy experts on Wednesday.
According to the report, progress is being made in the expansion of power plants that produce renewable electricity, i.e. solar plants, wind turbines, hydroelectric power plants – but fossil capacities are not being reduced. Instead, energy demand continues to grow, eating up the renewables successes.
Otherwise, these would be remarkable. Just last year, there was another record in the addition of renewable power plants: a capacity of 314 gigawatts was connected to the grid. But because fossil fuels still account for around 80 percent of total energy consumption, a real transition to green energies is not taking place, warns REN21. This also jeopardizes the climate targets.”
The same report was featured also in Welt. This article is behind a paywall.
The fact that the share of renewable energy is not growing is bad enough from a climate protection perspective. It is also sobering that the 12.6 percent share of eco-energy is largely attributable to the burning of biomass, i.e., to a type of energy generation that is the subject of much environmental criticism.
The second-largest share, 3.9 percent, comes from hydroelectric plants – such as large dams – which are also highly controversial among environmentalists. In the REN21 report, solar and wind power, which are the focus of attention in Germany, together with geothermal energy, are estimated to account for only 2.8 percent of global energy production and are subcategorized under ‘other’.”