“It’s all over except the shouting.” That’s the conclusion of a report into the role of fossil fuels in the electricity sector.
Published this week, it suggests that the world has reached peak fossil fuels for electricity generation. It will plateau for a few years and be in clear decline by the second half of the decade. It forecast solar and wind capacity to increase at least threefold by the end of the decade, “pushing fossil fuel electricity into terminal decline”.
The research was compiled by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a US nonprofit. It echoes similar findings by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which last year predicted that global demand for fossil fuels would peak in the mid-2030s.
The IEA said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sped up the transition towards renewable energy, despite prompting a short-term rush to burn coal. Putin’s war, it added, was “a historic turning point towards a cleaner future.”
Meanwhile, the renewables race stepped up a gear as a global race to supercharge renewables appears to be under way. According to The Times, the EU has drawn up plans to create a multibillion-euro package of state subsidies for green energy companies and electric car makers.
The move is a response to the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which passed last year. The $369bn (£298bn) climate, healthcare and tax stimulus offers generous tax breaks to renewable energy firms, and has fired the starting gun on a global race to entice green investment.
Preliminary analysis suggests that the IRA could cut US emissions by up to 44 percent this decade.