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Report highlights turning point as clean energy accounts for 30% of global power supply: 'Faster than anyone thought possible'

"The renewables future has arrived."

"The renewables future has arrived."

Photo Credit: iStock

Did you know that renewable energy now provides over 30% of the world's electricity?

That's right — renewables have reached that mark for the first time in history, with wind and solar in particular shaking up the energy game, according to the Guardian. And it couldn't come at a better time.

A new report from energy think tank Ember reveals that, since 2000, renewables have grown from just 19% of global electricity to nearly a third.

Solar in particular has been on an absolute tear, growing much faster than initially predicted. In fact, in 2023, solar added over twice as much electricity generation as coal, the Guardian reported.

This clean energy boom is already making a real difference. The rise of renewables has likely significantly slowed the growth of dirty energy sources over the past 10 years, based on government data about energy consumption. That means cleaner air, healthier communities, and a more stable climate for all of us.

But it gets even better. Experts now say the world is on the verge of driving down the use of polluting energy in our power grid, per the Guardian, even as the overall demand for electricity goes up.

In other words, we can have more of the energy we depend on while producing less of the pollution that threatens our future. Renewable energy prices are also typically lower than those for dirty fuels. 

"The renewables future has arrived," Ember director of global insights Dave Jones told the Guardian. "Solar, in particular, is accelerating faster than anyone thought possible." He added that "2023 was likely the pivot point — peak emissions in the power sector — a major turning point in the history of energy."

World leaders are aiming to grow renewables to an incredible 60% of global electricity by 2030, per the news outlet. Hitting that target would almost cut power sector pollution in half.

Hydro power is leading the charge, accounting for 14.3% of energy from renewables, shows a chart from the Guardian based on Ember data from 2023. With solar and wind not far behind, generating 13.4% combined in 2023, it's clear that powering our lives with clean energy isn't just possible — it's already happening. The future is looking bright indeed.

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