The electrical transition would she really be changing the world? If we are to believe a recent report published by the German site Ember, for the first time, the production of electricity by solar or wind power would exceed production by nuclear power.
By comparing the first six months of 2021 to those of 2019, the results show that the electrical transition is well underway. To carry out this study, the authors, Dave Jones, Nicolas Fulghum and Peter Tunbridge are based on data from 63 countries which cover 87% of global electricity production. Decryption.
An increase in demand
The electricity demand global growth has outpaced the growth of clean electricity, which has invariably increased the production of coal, and hence, CO2 emissions. Global emissions in the first half of the year jumped 12% from 2020. But the year 2020 cannot serve as a reference year, as many companies have found themselves at a complete standstill during lockdowns linked to the pandemic. Compared to a “normal” year like 2019, emissions are 5%.
Demand was met 57% by wind or solar and 43% by coal energy: this is the first time that wind and solar power have supplied more than 50% of the world’s electricity!
No country stands out in particular
Looking at the results country by country, none has really achieved a “green recovery”. However, several countries such as the United States, Korea, Japan or the European Union obtained this year lower gas emissions than before the pandemic.
In countries like China, India and Vietnam, demand for electricity is rising sharply; l so are CO2 emissions. Even if they have also increased their electricity production based on renewable energies, we cannot speak of a green recovery.
China, a bad student of the electricity transition?
No wonder China absolutely needs to step up electricity production via solar or wind power. In this Asian country, the demand for electricity increases by 14% but more than 68% of the electricity produced comes from coal, for barely 30% by wind or solar. It is also one of the countries that saw its coal production increase by 3% between 2019 and 2021. But China intends to remedy these bad figures: indeed, the country plans to build a solar station in space which could produce at least as much as a nuclear power plant.
Global efforts still to be made
Obviously, for all the countries of the world there are still many efforts to be made to achieve green electricity production. But it seems that we are starting to see the first results; it will therefore be necessary to continue the “green” electricity transition in the years to come and increase the number of wind farms or photovoltaic panels on public buildings.
As for China, industrial production is so gigantic that we can only understand the strong demand for electricity. But the authorities seem determined to produce “clean” electricity! As long as it works!