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.

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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.
3 / 5 (2) 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.
3 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2019
3.7 / 5 (3) 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.


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".
5 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2019
It is the growth of RE that counts - the costs are dropping so fast that all historic price analyses are way wrong. Costs are lower now - even pretending climate externalities don't count - than new coal or gas or nuclear. Once that line got crossed not even climate science denying, RE hostile governments can stop it's growth. More new solar capacity built last year than all new coal, gas and nuclear combined. Energy companies are choosing investment in RE over coal and nuclear.

RE's most significant near term impact probably is political; the alarmist economic fear message from opponents of climate action is undermined - people are not responding to it any more. Business lobbying is no longer united in opposition to low emissions energy or strong climate policies. Real world climate change is undermining climate science denial and real world successes of wind and solar are undermining the fear campaigns that have prevented facing this head on with eyes open.
5 / 5 (1) Jan 21, 2019
The shills are out in force today. How pathetic.

@Key_Fabian, it's delightful to see someone else who can tell up from down.
not rated yet Jan 22, 2019
...More new solar capacity built last year than all new coal, gas...
"installed-capacity" ≠ "emissions avoided"
"China is a net exporter of solar panels / wind turbines."
"We often have climate charlatans claiming China is leading the renewable revolution. Well here is the truth."
"China: No Wind Or Solar If It Can't Beat Coal On Price" - Jan 10, 2019
"China has said it will not approve wind and solar power projects unless they can compete with coal power prices."
"China is funding its nuclear power future by selling solar panels to those who don't know better."
"nuclear is cheapest electricity source after coal in China."
"The Dark Side of China's Solar Boom" - Jul 2018

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