Future Climate: Though the renewable energy sector is growing and electric vehicle sales are picking up, the growing global energy demand has outstripped any measures taken to mitigate the climate crisis. The World Energy Outlook report, published by the International Energy Agency, shows the trends that will impact the battle against climate change
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In 10 yrs, bulk of energy will be green
- Global consumption of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, is slowing Investment in new coal-fired power plants is down and existing plants are being phased out.
- Coal-reliant countries like India and China are beginning to invest in green energy, which in many cases can be a cheaper alternative.
- With the policies currently in place, renewable will become the main energy source by 2030, at 42% of total global generation, with coal dropping to 34%.
- Increase use of natural gas will help cut into coal’s share in energy generation.
Offshore wind farms could alone meet all energy needs
- Though it’s generally cheaper to build onshore wind turbines, offshore wind, thanks to reliable wind speeds, is becoming increasingly cost efficient and will draw at least a trillion dollars in investment by 2040
- Currently Europe is the only region using offshore wind but it only supplies 2% of the continent’s energy. That number will increase nine-fold by 2040.
- US, China and Japan are investing in offshore wind. India, too, is set to invest in offshore wind by 2040
Source: NYT, World Energy Outlook 2019
EV sales to keep zooming, but SUVs can drag back green gains
- In 2018, 2 million electric cars were sold worldwide, spurred by falling battery costs and government Incentives
- In FY2019, India sold 7.5 lakh electric vehicles, a jump from 56,000 in FY2018 > However, India is also among countries where SUV sales are engine flet In 2000, just 18% of cars sold across the world were SUVS: today that figure stands at 42%
- The preference for SUVS which produce more emissions than other cars, could eat into any gains made from electric cars.
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By 2040, Africa will drive global energy demand
- Africa has the fastest growing population and is expected to have 2 billion people in 2040.
- If Africa pursues the same fossil-fuel heavy path as China, emissions could rise considerably.
- But Africa is better placed than China to focus on renewables – it has 40% of the world’s solar energy potential and solar would be the cheapest source of energy for the majority of Africans.
Source : Times of India