Not long ago, a company or a private person had to invest in green and renewable energy sources. It was typical that you had to pay more if you wanted to source power from plans that included exclusively renewable energy. Over time this has changed a bit, and renewable energy is not only more affordable than it was, but it is also likely to become the better deal in a foreseeable timeframe.
Statistics about energy consumption and generation worldwide
Based on data from the IRENA Renewable Capacity Statistics 2021 report, we know that, for instance, China is not only one of the biggest polluters when comparing all countries around the globe, on the other hand, China is also a leading pioneer of developing and providing power that comes from renewable energy sources. In 2020 alone, China consumed 895 gigawatts of clean energy. Just to give you a better idea of what that means, the second one up in the ranking is the US with 292 gigawatts, and as third comes Brazil with 150 gigawatts in 2020, among with other regions that invest heavily in clean energy sources. The total capacity for renewable energy worldwide is 2,838 gigawatts.
When we, however, look at the fact that the primary energy source worldwide is still oil as of now and that the total global electricity generation when combining all sources is about 26,730 TWh, the figures for renewable energy alone seem almost insignificant. Yet, they have the advantage of not needing a sort of resources like oil or coal in order to generate power. Renewable energy sources can often last for very long periods and will create only maintenance and staff costs to run.
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In addition to that, the report by Our World in Data shows that the trend moves towards making use of renewable sources for energy generation. As a bottom line, this will also allow providers to offer such green plans at a lower price point. The other driver here is based on policies to combat climate change, like the ones that are currently being discussed at the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, also known as COP26 in short.
Researcher insights on falling costs of renewable energy
In the report, Max Roser, founder of Our World in Data and researcher at the University of Oxford, states, “Driving down the costs of renewables is key to a green, low-carbon future, but it also has a big benefit for people today: Your real income is the ratio between what you are paid and the price of the goods and services you pay for – that is why falling energy prices means that people’s real income is growing. Falling energy prices means economic growth and less poverty. The reason we can hope for a future in which renewables are deployed rapidly and where fossil fuel plants become increasingly unprofitable is that renewables follow steep learning curves, and fossil fuels do not. We are heading towards a future in which the disadvantage of fossil fuels will keep increasing.”
The world is starting to turn away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energies, which will significantly reduce our reliance on these “dirty” sources of energy. As the cost for renewables falls lower than ever before, we might be able to counter climate change with this shift in power consumption patterns. Now is a good time to check with your energy provider for a green plan. Perhaps you could even save a bit of money every month. If not, make sure to check back from time to time or maybe change your provider.
YouTube: Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2020 – Cost Declines and Record Capacity Additions
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Viacheslav Lakobchuk. The infographic pictures have been prepared by Statista.
Source: Adrian Whiteman, Dennis Akande, Nazik Elhassan, Gerardo Escamilla, Arvydas Lebedys, Iana Arkhipova (IRENA report) / Madhumitha Jaganmohan (Statista) / Max Roser (Our World in Data) / Michael Taylor, Pablo Ralon, Sonia Al-Zoghoul (IRENA video)