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    HomeScienceRenewable Revolution: Solar and Wind Energy Surpass 30% Global Electricity

    Renewable Revolution: Solar and Wind Energy Surpass 30% Global Electricity

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    Northeast Solar Energy Research Center” by Brookhaven National Laboratory is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Harnessing the power of the sun and the winds has marked a significant chapter in the annals of human ingenuity. The year 2023 will be remembered as a watershed moment in our energy history as solar and wind energy leaped to account for 30% of global electricity supply.

    Renewable Energy Development in the California Desert” by mypubliclands is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    This unprecedented growth in renewable power sources signals the beginning of the end for fossil fuel dominance in power generation.

    101214 Algeria unveils renewable energy strategy 03 | الجزائر: استراتيجية جديدة للطاقة المتجددة | L’Algérie dévoile sa stratégie en matière d’énergies renouvelables” by Magharebia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Dave Jones, the director of Ember’s global insights program, expressed the magnitude of this shift, stating, “With record construction of solar and wind in 2023, a new era of falling fossil generation is imminent.” This is not just a forecast; it’s an emerging reality.

    Renewable Energy Development in the California Desert” by mypubliclands is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Renewable energy growth is “breaking records and driving ever-cleaner electricity production,” leading to what could be one of the most significant transformations in energy infrastructure we’ve ever seen.

    45274-001: Scaling Up Renewable Energy Access in Eastern Indonesia (Sumba Iconic Island Initiative)” by Asian Development Bank is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    This transition resonates deeply with the military tech and politics enthusiasts, who understand the strategic importance of energy independence and resilience. Renewables not only offer cleaner power but also the potential for decentralized and secure energy sources critical for national security and global stability.

    renewable energy toys” by Dragonleek is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The Ember climate consultancy report, released on May 8, 2023, painted a clear picture of this transformative landscape. Countries around the world are beginning to pivot away from traditional fossil fuels, with OECD nations leading the movement since 2007.

    Renewable Energy Development in the California Desert” by mypubliclands is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    In just 10 years, the rollout of clean generation has slowed the growth in fossil fuels by almost two-thirds. This is a formidable shift, echoing the strategic pivots seen in military history when new technologies redefine the battlefield.

    Secretary-General Shown New Zealand’s Renewable Energy Efforts” by United Nations Photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The facts speak for themselves: solar generation grew by a staggering 23%, wind power by 10%, while fossil-generated electricity saw a meager 0.8% growth last year. This deceleration in fossil fuel use goes against the grain of the oil and gas industry’s predictions, which anticipated increased demand for their products for years to come.

    34100-013: Renewable Energy Development Project in Indonesia” by Asian Development Bank is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The report highlights China’s pivotal role, with the nation responsible for 51% of new solar generation and 60% of new wind power. Notably, solar has maintained its status as the fastest-growing source of new generation for the 19th consecutive year.

    UNDP/Nesta renewable energy challenge: We have a winner!” by UNDP in Europe and Central Asia is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    This explosive growth is also seen in nations such as the United States, where innovative programs like the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) are democratizing access to clean energy by installing solar panels for families who might otherwise not afford them.

    Renewable Energy at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge” by USFWS Mountain Prairie is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    It’s worth noting that while hydropower production dipped to a five-year low due to widespread drought, the hunger for electricity remains unabated. More than half of the electricity demand rise in 2023 was driven by five technologies: electric vehicles, heat pumps, electrolysers, air conditioning, and data centers. This indicates a burgeoning demand for electricity, likely to be met increasingly by renewables given their growing efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

    Wind Power” by Auntie K is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    Despite the good news, the Ember report suggests a sobering reminder: the pace of emissions decline hinges on the continuation of the renewable revolution.

    Solar Power & Wind Power” by David Blaikie is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    And while oil and gas supergiant Saudi Aramco reported a 14.4% drop in quarterly profits, reflecting a decrease in oil sales despite higher prices, the shift to renewables is not just an environmental imperative but an economic one.

    Wind power in FYR Macedonia” by World Bank Photo Collection is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    In summary, 2023 marks the dawn of a new energy era, a turning point where, for enthusiasts of military tech and politics, the integration of renewables not only shapes our environmental policy but could redefine strategic geopolitical alliances and energy security for years to come. The renewables future, long anticipated, has arrived, signaling a transition as impactful as any in our history.

    Solar- and wind-powered light up close” by Argonne National Laboratory is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    As we witness this unfolding renewable energy narrative, it’s clear that the battle for a cleaner, more sustainable future is well and truly underway.

    Relevant articles:
    ‘Turning point in energy history’ as solar, wind start pushing fossil fuels off the grid, Yale Climate Connections
    Meet the Sun power people!, nasa.gov
    The world has passed a turning point in the history of energy, Semafor

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