Rise of renewables creating 'new world': report

January 11, 2019
A Chinese aircraft carrier sails past a wind turbine as it sails into Hong Kong on July 7, 2017

The rapid growth of renewable energy sources and the demise of fossil fuels are causing major changes in global politics, a special commission said in a report Friday.

The shift "will alter the global distribution of power, relations between states, the risk of conflict, and the social, economic and environmental drivers of geopolitical instability," said a the commission set up by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Solar, wind and other renewables, which currently make up around a fifth of global production, are growing faster than any other source, the report said.

Commission chairman and former president of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar, said the shift will likely cause China to eclipse the United States, place oil-dependent Gulf states at risk and help impoverished African nations achieve energy independence.

"It is difficult to predict when, but this change is happening comprehensively and fast," Ragnar told AFP.

The report, entitled "A New World", was launched at IRENA's ninth general assembly in Abu Dhabi.

"The shift from fossil fuels to renewables is driven by and falling costs, increasingly making renewables as competitive as conventional sources of energy," the said.

The cost of electricity from solar sources has dropped by 75 percent since 2009 while the price of wind turbines halved over the same period, it said.

IRENA secretary general Adnan Amin said the body's analysis shows that "by 2020, all commercially available renewable technologies will be on par with, or cheaper than, competitors".

He said that in 2017, a record 168 gigawatts of electricity were generated from renewable sources—double the previous year.

The IRENA commission also warned that countries are heavily dependent on fossil exports would need to adapt to avoid "serious economic consequences".

But, it said, renewables will be a powerful vehicle of democratisation because they make it possible to decentralise the energy supply.

Explore further: Fossil fuels blown away by wind in cost terms: study

Related Stories

Fossil fuels blown away by wind in cost terms: study

January 13, 2018

New onshore wind and solar energy projects are set to deliver electricity more cheaply than fossil fuels plants, with other green technologies also rapidly gaining a cost advantage over dirty fuels, a report published Saturday ...

Not enough investment in renewables: IRENA

January 16, 2017

Money invested in renewable energy is not enough to reach a climate goal of limiting global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius, an Abu Dhabi-based green energy organisation said Sunday.

Renewable energy costs falling: agency

June 6, 2012

Power from renewable energy sources is getting cheaper every year, according to a study released Wednesday, challenging long-standing myths that clean energy technology is too expensive to adopt.

Cutting fossil subsidies must to advance renewables: agency

September 8, 2014

Renewable energy, essential for meeting global CO2 emission targets, needs a stable regulatory framework, a cut in fossil fuel subsidies and more interconnected power grids to develop, a global energy agency said Sunday.

Recommended for you

Privacy becomes a selling point at tech show

January 7, 2019

Apple is not among the exhibitors at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, but that didn't prevent the iPhone maker from sending a message to attendees on a large billboard.

China's Huawei unveils chip for global big data market

January 7, 2019

Huawei Technologies Ltd. showed off a new processor chip for data centers and cloud computing Monday, expanding into new and growing markets despite Western warnings the company might be a security risk.

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mqr
1 / 5 (2) Jan 11, 2019
" help impoverished African nations achieve energy independence."

very clear why the USA wants to attack China. China is a threat for the hatred that the american wealthy spreads in the world.

China, Latin America, Russia, Africa, Iran, etc, etc. share the same enemy. Who is the terrorist? Chomsky says the terrorist is USA.
WillieWard
5 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2019
"...The rapid growth of renewable energy sources and the demise of fossil fuels..."
The growth of renewable energy sources is helping almost nothing to reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, and is causing huge environmental damages and the electricity prices to skyrocket, e.g. Germany, Denmark, South Australia, California, Minnesota, etc.
katesisco
5 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2019
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Jan 14, 2019
Solar, wind and other renewables, which currently make up around a fifth of global energy production, are growing faster than any other source, the report said.


Bunk. Renewables make about a fifth to a quarter of the global electricity, not energy, and half of the renewables are existing hydroelectric powerplants.

https://yearbook....ics.html

Electricity was 9% of global energy production/consumption (2017) which makes the renewables in the electricity sector count for about 2% of global energy demand, not 20%.

It would be 12% of total energy if you count biomass as a "renewable", but aside for burning up peatlands and clear-cutting forests for fuel and sugar-cane plantations, its cultivation is almost entirely based on consuming fossil fuels so the inclusion would be dubious at best.

This article is again promulgating the old illusion that the lightbulb on your ceiling is the only thing that consumes "energy".

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.