Dirty energy is out, renewables are in.
Or at least, that’s what the latest analysis from a leading energy expert says. According to the analysis, the demand for dirty energy sources used in the electricity sector — like coal and gas — has peaked, with clean power rising in popularity.
According to Rocky Mountain Institute energy expert Kingsmill Bond, the shift is largely tied to the low cost of clean energy sources like wind and solar power. By many estimates, renewables are now the cheapest form of power available.
“Superior renewable technology is winning the battle for the future of energy, and it is time to recognize this key turning point,” Bond said. “Countries, companies, and investors that accept and embrace the energy transition will prosper, while those that deny and resist will struggle and eventually fall.”
According to the research, more than half the world has peaked in its demand for dirty energy sources. DNV, an expert in assurance and risk management, was the first to make this conclusion. And when the International Energy Agency released its 2022 World Energy Outlook, the organization predicted that by 2025, clean energy would replace coal as the world’s largest power source.
This is an important shift, as renewable energy use has historically experienced much slower growth than we’re seeing now. In 2010, solar and wind energy made up just 1.7% of global electricity generation. By 2021, that number had climbed to 10%.
“As these superior solutions enter the market in size, they will increase global efficiency gains by nearly 1 percent a year and drive primary energy demand growth toward zero,” according to Bond.
Bond attributed this growth to a number of factors, including lower costs, the war in Ukraine, and the extreme efficiency of clean energy.
“When we add up deployments in solar, wind, [electric vehicles], heat pumps, and hydrogen, we expect clean technology deployment over the course of this decade to replace four times as much fossil fuel demand as it did in the past decade,” Bond said.