Today’s Solutions: February 08, 2023

With the War in Ukraine and unfair demands from Russia for its gas, many western nations are feeling the need to switch to renewable energy now more so than ever. The good news is that nations are getting closer to 100 percent renewables and energy independence every day. 

Wind and solar have been the fastest-growing energy sources for the 17th year in a row. European nations like Germany, Spain, and the UK have already produced more than 25 percent of their electricity from wind and solar in 2021. This is part of a growing global trend toward renewable resources, with the United States breaking renewable records each successive year. 

New data from independent global energy think tank Ember showed that in April the United States got 18 percent of its energy from wind and solar. 

This shows continued remarkable improvement from the world’s second largest polluter, behind China. In 2015, the United States generated just 5.7 percent of its energy (229.8 terawatts hours) from renewables. In 2021, it more than doubled that to 13 percent (543.5 terawatt-hours). In less than a year, the United States has increased that even more to 18 percent. In March alone, the United States got 59 terawatt-hours from renewables, compared to the 53 the month before. 

According to the International Energy Agency, wind and solar need to reach 20 percent of global electricity by 2025, and 70 percent by 2050, to reach net zero. 

The demand is great for countries to reach their climate goals and avoid the worst of climate change, but many look able to exceed expectations. 

According to Phil Macdonald, Ember’s Chief Operations Officer: “Wind and solar are breaking records around the world. The process that will reshape the existing energy system has begun. Wind and solar provide a solution to the ‘trilemma’ of achieving a sustainable, affordable, and secure energy supply. This decade they need to be deployed at lightning speed.”

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