International. According to the study "Global Electricity Mid-Year Insights 2022", by the Ember organization, renewable energies are covering the growing needs of electrical energy, which demonstrates its effectiveness, while avoiding the demand for fossil energy and related pollution.
The research, written by Malgorzata Wiatros-Motyka, Senior Electricity Analyst at Ember, indicates that the use of renewable energy avoided a 4 % increase in fossil generation, saving $40 billion in fuel costs and 230 Mt of CO2 in emissions.
According to the document, "global electricity demand increased by 3 % in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year; This was in line with the historical average. Wind and solar accounted for 77 % of this demand growth, and hydropower more than covered the rest."
Other important findings
Ember's study also revealed that coal and gas generation remained almost unchanged; while the growth of wind and solar generated tangible costs and climate benefits; and, finally, that emissions from the electricity sector could set a new record by the end of 2022.
In that sense, there are several data that are worth enunciating to understand the positive impact of the findings of the study, in light of technological development, as well as the points to improve.
1. Of the growing electricity demand in China, 92 % was covered by wind and solar energy covered 92 %, in the US this percentage reached 81 %, while in India only 23 % was covered by renewable energy.
2. Thanks to the fact that renewable energies were responsible for meeting the increase in energy demand, the study suggests that fossil generation almost did not change. "Coal decreased by 1 % and gas decreased by 0.05 %; These were offset by a slight increase in oil." This also means that CO2 emissions from global electricity generation remained largely unchanged.
3. "Without wind and solar energy, fossil fuel generation would have increased by 16 % instead of 6 %", in the European Union, which relied on these alternative sources to compensate. While in the United States the phenomenon that was evidenced was that "the increase in fossil fuel energy slowed from 7 % to 1 %".
Perhaps the most relevant point of all is that the research firmly determines that "we are approaching a tipping point, where clean electricity, led by wind and solar energy", which ensures that they will be able to meet all the future growth in electricity demand.
To conclude, it is worth taking into account the conclusions of Malgorzata, the author of the study.
"Wind and solar are proving their worth during the energy crisis. The first step in ending control of expensive and polluting fossil fuels is to generate enough clean energy to satisfy the world's growing appetite for electricity. We cannot be sure whether we have reached the peak of coal and gas in the electricity sector. Emissions from the global energy sector are still reaching all-time highs when they should fall very quickly. And the same fossil fuels that push us into a climate crisis are also causing the global energy crisis. We have a solution: wind and solar are homegrown and cheap, and they are already rapidly reducing both bills and emissions."