October 5, 2017 Read More →

Growth in Solar Power Beat All Other Energy Sources in 2016, but Trump Still Wants More Coal


Listening to the Trump administration advocate for reviving coal, one might get the impression that a fossil fuel resurgence is taking place in the U.S. and abroad.

However, the global statistics tell a far different story about where the world is getting its energy, with unprecedented thresholds crossed by renewable energy technologies like solar and wind power.

A major new report released Wednesday morning shows that, for the first time ever, 2016 saw solar photovoltaics, or solar PV, take the lead for the fastest electricity capacity growth when compared to any other fuel, beating the net growth in coal.

The rapid expansion of solar and wind energy in global electricity markets is a positive sign for those working to limit the severity of global warming, which is caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil.

The report, by the International Energy Agency (IEA), finds that renewables represented almost two-thirds of new net electric capacity additions in 2016, with almost 165 gigawatts coming online worldwide. This would be enough energy to power nearly 124 million homes in the U.S.

The major theme of the report — and one that the Trump administration might want to bury — centers around the fact that China is increasingly leading the world in renewable energy development and deployment, and for some developing countries, such as India, solar and wind energy is already cost competitive with coal.

In other words, the energy choices these populous nations make in the next few years will have huge ramifications for greenhouse gas emissions, the deployment of renewable energy worldwide, and even how far behind the U.S. will be if the government continues to go down a path of trying to revive the fossil fuel industry.

“I think people really underestimate the power of the two most populous countries in the world moving toward a low carbon future, regardless what Europe and America do,” said Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies at IEEFA, a think tank that works to accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy economy.

Growth in solar power beat all other energy sources in 2016, but Trump still wants more coal

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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