Solar panels and wind turbines are contributing to an extraordinary energy revolution today. The two renewable energy sources are gaining market share at a staggering rate, and experts are talking about the fastest energy change in history.
Solar panels and wind turbines are now being installed at three times the rate of all other new energy sources combined (coal, gas, hydro, nuclear, geothermal or bio), according to a study by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES).
The even better part is that these farms are mostly replacing environmentally damaging coal or gas-fired power plants. Fossil fuels generate three quarters of global CO2 emissions every year.
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The total installed capacity of solar panels available in the world will exceed 1 TW in 2022.
In the last 20 years, the installed capacity of solar panels has increased more than 500 times.
The electrification of everything (transport, industry, heating, etc.) around us will lead to an exponential increase in the need for energy. According to ISES, in developed countries a person will consume 20 MWh of electricity per year in 2050. The planet’s population will then be 10 billion people. The estimated annual global energy requirement will therefore be 200 000 TWh.
According to estimates, solar panels will provide 60% of the total (120,000 TWh). To get there, however, by the mid-2030s we will need to reach 4 TW of new solar installed capacity each year. ISES argues that the current pace is almost sufficient to reach this target.
The benefits of these green energy investments are already being seen. According to the IEA, 2022 was a better year for the environment, thanks to electric cars and renewables.
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