The world generated a record 10% of its electricity from wind and solar in 2021 and clean sources accounted for 38% of total power supply — even more than coal.
That’s according to a report published on Wednesday by Ember. The independent climate think tank found that 50 countries were generating more than 10% of their power from wind and solar, with the fastest transformations happening in the Netherlands, Australia and Vietnam. Those countries have switched around a tenth of their power from fossil fuels to wind and solar in just the last two years.
Ten countries generated more than 25% of their power from wind and solar, led by Denmark at 52%.
The findings come as the world faces an energy crunch, both from the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as well as from Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has forced countries, particularly in Europe, to seek alternative energy sources to Russian oil and gas.
The report found that solar and wind power could grow fast enough to limit global warming to 1.5 Celsius above levels before industrialization, a threshold that scientists warn the world should stay below to avoid some of the more dramatic impacts of the climate crisis.
That would require the 10-year average compound growth rate of 20% to be maintained to 2030.
Solar generation rose 23% globally in 2021, while wind supply gained 14% over the same period. Together, both renewable sources accounted for 10.3% of total global electricity generation, up 1% from 2020, Ember’s data showed.