Staff Correspondent: Wind and solar reached a record 12% of global electricity in 2022, up from 10% in 2021, according to a major report launched on 12 April by energy think tank Ember.
Bangladesh is far behind the world’s average, with less than 1% of generation from wind and solar. The data reveals that over sixty countries now generate more than 10% of their electricity from wind and solar.
The fourth annual Global Electricity Review from energy think tank Ember presents electricity data from 2022 across 78 countries, representing 93% of global electricity demand. The open data and in-depth analysis provide the first accurate picture of the global electricity transition in 2022.
In Bangladesh, solar and hydropower recorded 2% generation in its electricity mix last year. The transition is taking place, albeit slowly, as Bangladesh’s share of clean power (2%) remains the lowest among other South Asian countries, including India (23%) and Pakistan (43%). Fossil fuels continue to be the dominant energy source in Bangladesh (98%), with 15% of its power generation coming from coal, 59% from gas and 24% from other fossil fuels. In comparison, 61% of global electricity came from fossil fuels in 2022 and 39% from clean sources.
Solar and wind accelerating worldwide
Solar was the fastest-growing source of global electricity for the eighteenth year in a row, rising by 24% year-on-year and adding enough electricity to power all of South Africa. Wind generation increased by 17% in 2022, enough to power almost all of the UK. The growth in wind and solar generation in 2022 met an impressive 80% of the rise in global electricity demand.
In spite of the global gas crisis and fears of a return to coal, the rise in wind and solar limited the increase in global coal generation, which rose by 1.1%. Global gas power generation fell very slightly (-0.2%) in 2022. Overall, that still meant that global power sector emissions increased by 1.3% in 2022, reaching an all-time high.
Experts forecast that global power sector emissions have peaked
The report forecasts that last year may be the ‘peak’ of electricity emissions and the final year of fossil power growth, with clean power meeting all demand growth in 2023. As a result, there would be a small fall in fossil generation (-0.3%) in 2023, with larger falls in subsequent years as wind and solar deployment accelerates.
“In this decisive decade for the climate, it is the beginning of the end of the fossil age,” said the lead author, Ma?gorzata Wiatros-Motyka. “We are entering the clean power era.”
According to modelling by the International Energy Agency, the electricity sector needs to move from being the highest emitting sector to being the first sector to reach net zero by 2040 in order to achieve economy-wide net zero by 2050. This would mean wind and solar reaching 41% of global electricity by 2030, compared to 12% in 2022.
Ember’s senior electricity analyst, Ma?gorzata Wiatros-Motyka, continued, “The stage is set for wind and solar to achieve a meteoric rise to the top. Clean electricity will reshape the global economy, from transport to industry and beyond. A new era of falling fossil emissions means the coal power phasedown will happen, and the end of gas power growth is now within sight. Change is coming fast. However, it all depends on the actions taken now by governments, businesses and citizens to put the world on a pathway to clean power by 2040.”
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