Commentary, News

Great news for the planet: Renewables pass coal as largest source of new energy

Conservative North Carolina elected leaders and their cheerleaders in the market fundamentalist think tanks may be doing their worst to block the transition, but the growing global tide in the direction of renewable energy appears increasingly irresistible. Samantha Page at Think Progress reports:

“It’s been a long run, coal, but your reign is over.

Renewable energy sources have passed coal as the largest new source of electricity in the world, according data released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The transition of the world’s energy sources is critical for avoiding a 2°C rise in global temperatures. Coal, for instance, represented about a quarter of U.S. CO2 emissions in 2012.

Solar and wind account for almost two-thirds of the growth in renewables, which is coming from industrialized and developing nations alike.

The agency also announced it has revised its forecast for renewable energy, ‘significantly increasing’ the amount of green energy it expects to come online in the next five years. In addition to pro-renewable policies (such as the Paris climate agreement), a significant price decline is driving growth.

Over the next five years, IEA expects costs for solar to drop by a quarter; for onshore wind, costs will fall another 15 percent.”

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