It may not seem like it, but clean energy is making strides in the world. In 2015, the IEA (International Energy Agency) announced that for the first time ever, renewable energy distanced itself from coal as the biggest source for power-generating capacity.
In the past, the IEA has criticized the wind/solar energy projections for being too low. That seems to be changing, with the IEA changing their tune, as well. Last year alone, over fifty thousand solar panels were established at locations around the world. There is no question that renewable energy is transforming the energy industry as a whole, particularly in countries like China.
Between 2015 and 2021, it is predicted that 825GW of new renewable capacities will be added to the worldwide landscape. That is definitely something worth getting excited about, but where do we go from there? What needs to happen now?
The Benefits Of Wind And Solar Against Coal
Unlike coal, energy sources like wind and solar are not going to run all of the time. This is something to keep in mind. They will run on an intermittent basis. Even so, the International Energy Agency anticipates total power generation for renewables to rise to 28% (from 21%). Governmental efforts against global warming/climate change and air pollution are being seen as a significant reason behind this improvement in the fortunes of renewable energies.
Furthermore, solar panels and wind turbines are becoming increasingly affordable. The sight of solar panels is becoming a familiar site in towns and cities throughout the United States and beyond. In time, it is believed that the United States will surpass the European Union as renewables market, putting them behind only China in this arena. Electricity demands in rich countries continue to drop, and renewables are pushing coal and other forms out of the picture. At the same time, it is important to note that developing countries are still working to keep up with demand.
Some experts are even going so far as to say that the IEA is still underestimating the potential of renewables.
Coal continues to endure as an energy source. A large part of this is due to restrictions that were passed on certain aspects of the coal industry within China. However, these restrictions may be loosened in the near future, owing to the current high costs.
Nonetheless, renewables continue to gain momentum. It is going to be well worth keeping up with this momentum for a variety of crucial reasons.