Renewable energy projects outperform any of the most efficient coal power plants on the planet. They provide more affordable and viable energy alternatives for a future without fossil fuels.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released a report that showed 62% of renewable energy projects installed in 20202 would produce cheaper and more power than any coal project in the world.
This report covered both wind and solar installations, whilst also showing that new renewable energy sources could undercut costs of coal plants up to 800GW, that is 800 gigawatts which is 800 billion watts of power, enough to power the UK ten times over.
IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera said this latest research proved that the world was far beyond the tipping point of coal. “Today renewables are the cheapest source of power,” he said.
“Renewables present countries tied to coal with an economically attractive phase-out agenda that ensures they meet growing energy demand, while saving costs, adding jobs, boosting growth and meeting climate ambition.”
The Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2020 report also showed that costs for renewable technologies were continuing to drop year by year. From 2019 to 2020, concentrated solar power dropped 16%, onshore wind by 13% and solar PV by 7%.
IRENA has called for global solidarity in the transition to renewable energy sources and away from fossil fuels.
The most recent G7 summit in Cornwall, the United Kingdom saw global leaders pledge to accelerate renewable energy technologies and to transition away from fossil fuels, such as coal and gas.
The G7 includes the nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United Sates and delegates from the European Union and Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison were included.
The summit commenced on June 11 and ended on the 13th, a document called Our Shared Agenda for Global Action to Build Back Better, was released; outlining their plans to phase out coal. Though while Australian PM Scott Morrison backed the agreement, he did not give a deadline on when our country will achieve carbon net-zero.
Mr La Camera was encouraged by the G7 announcement and has called on other nations to participate in the pledge.
“Following the latest commitment by G7 to net-zero and stop global coal funding abroad, it is now for G20 and emerging economies to match these measures,” he said.
“We cannot allow having a dual-track for energy transition where some countries rapidly turn green, and others remain trapped in the fossil-based system of the past.
“Global solidarity will be crucial, from technology diffusion to financial strategies and investment support. We must make sure everybody benefits from the energy transition.”
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