In our many sustainability and energy transitions, the electricity one is the most talked about and the easiest to do. It has been talked for as long as I have written this blog, if not before. For this long, it felt like a pipe dream, something we would see in the distant future. Well, the future is now, and none too soon.
According to recent research by the prestigious International Energy Agency (IEA) :
By 2024, renewables’ share of global electricity generation will exceed one-third. And depending on weather conditions, 2024 could well become the first year in which more electricity is generated worldwide from renewables than from coal.(…) In another sign the energy transition is taking hold, the IEA now sees electricity generated from fossil fuels falling in four out of the six years between 2019 and 2024.
The energy and climate think tank Ember has more data on the energy transition in Europe and it’s quite positive news noting that “Fossil fuel generation collapsed by 17% to lowest on record”.
As some analysts and Linkedin users have also pointed out, what we are doing now is stacking solar and wind capacity on top of all the others. What is desperately needed is actually slashing energy use in G20 nations to accelerate our much needed energy transition. Renewables need to replace fossil fuels. To do so, we need to consume much less energy. This might looks scary for one’s comfort, unless you take into account the massive inefficiencies and waste our systems and societies are built on.
I have written about energy efficiency and conservation for as long as this blog has existed. Energy sufficiency / sobriety is a more recent concept but it is as powerful as the other two, if not more. We need to change our entire lives to prevent unwelcome, if not downright scary changes. Yes, it’s almost buddhistic .