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Great News For The Environment; Renewable Energy Capacity Overtakes Coal

Updated on 4 November, 2016 at 11:19 am By

In a remarkable feat for the world, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), world’s capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources has now overtaken the previous biggest source – coal.

The IEA recently released a report that said that last year renewables accounted for more than half of the increase in power capacity with half a million solar panels being installed every day across the plant.

Further, in China, there were two wind turbines that were set up to produce energy every hour.


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China making use of Wind turbines Wind Energy Update

China making use of Wind turbines Wind Energy Update

Sources of renewable energy are wind energy, solar energy, and hydro energy, which are seen as a key element in international efforts to combat climate change.

Though one must note that at the current stage, these three sources have overtaken coal’s the capacity to generate power, rather than the amount of electricity actually produced.



Renewable sources of energy are  unfortunately intermittent and strongly depend on the sun shining or the wind blowing, which is not the case in coal which can generate electricity 24 hours a day, all year round.

 

Poland's Belchatów coal-fired power station. PGE

Poland’s Belchatów coal-fired power station. PGE

Thus renewable technologies generate a lot less energy than their capacity which becomes a huge drawback.

Yet one must note it is still a striking development and points towards global and environmental transformation.


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“We are witnessing a transformation of global power markets led by renewables. The expansion of renewable capacity reflects cost reductions for onshore wind and solar panels that would have been unthinkable just five years ago.” – Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA

The IEA further expects this trend of declining costs to continue and say solar and wind technologies are likely to account for three-quarter of the future growth in renewables.

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