REN21 Renewables 2022 Global Status Report: The Global Energy Transition is Not Happening

After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was hoping for a green recovery to “build back better”. Yet the global energy transition is not happening. A rebound in economic activity led to a roughly 4% increase in global energy demand, much of which was met by fossil fuels. The spike in energy prices in the second half of the year, followed by the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, contributed to an unprecedented global energy crisis and commodity shock.

The rise in global energy demand has offset the growth in renewable energy deployment. As a result, the share of fossil fuels in total final energy consumption (TFEC) has remained almost the same since 2009. Renewables met just over 12.6% of global final energy demand in 2020, up only slightly from 8.7% in 2009. Even the share of renewables in final electricity demand stagnated in 2020, compared to 2019.

Despite record additions to renewable power capacity in 2021, the surge in global electricity demand was met mostly with fossil fuels. For electricity generation, coal use grew 9%, compared with a 5% increase in generation from renewables. Also, progress has been uneven across regions. As of 2019, only 3 countries out of 80 – Iceland, Norway and Sweden – had renewable shares in TFEC above 50%, and 20 countries, mostly in Europe and Latin America, met at least a quarter of their total final energy consumption with renewables.

Link to the report plus key messages HERE

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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