In five years, 25% of all energy will be green!

Within five years, one quarter of all the world's energy will be generated by renewable sources.

That's the finding of a new report from the International Energy Agency, and it's being hailed as “a remarkable shift in a very limited period of time.”

In 2014 alone, almost half of all the new power capacity came from clean energy sources like wind and solar. And, in developed nations, renewables account for nearly all of the new additions to power capacity.

That fact on its own is pretty astounding. And, it's enough to prove that making the switch to all-renewable energy is actually possible, regardless of what we hear from the fossil fuel industry.

According to this new report, “Even in a lower fossil fuel price environment, the policy drivers for renewable electricity – energy diversification, local pollution, and decarbonization aims, remain robust.”

In other words, even where oil, gas, and coal may be cheaper, there are other factors that drive the demand for clean energy.

Although Republican lawmakers often point to major polluters like China and India as a an excuse to avoid acting on climate change, it is actually those same countries that are leading the world in the expansion of renewable energy sources.

While we continue to elect people who refuse to admit that global warming is real, the rest of the world is doing something to address the climate crisis.

Faith Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said, “Renewables are poised to seize the crucial top spot in global power supply growth, but this is hardly the time for complacency.” She added, “Governments must remove the question marks over renewables if these technologies are to achieve their full potential, and put our energy system on a more secure, sustainable path.”

This report makes it very clear that going to 100 percent clean, renewable energy is possible. The only question left is whether we have the will to fight for an all-renewable future.


mjolnir's picture
mjolnir 7 years 33 weeks ago

"China has been praised recently for its investments in renewable energy. And the credit is well deserved as China's commitment to renewables dwarfs that of the U.S. and other industrialized countries. From 2010 to 2012 alone, China’s renewable electricity growth was double that of the U.S., and it is continuing to grow.

But all the accolades are distracting us from the reality that fossil fuels dominate China’s energy landscape, as they do in virtually every other country. Today, fossil fuels account for 87 percent of all energy used in China. And the focus on renewables also hides the fact that China’s reliance upon coal is predicted to keep growing.

Coal, the most carbon-intensive of the fossil fuels, accounts for 70 percent of energy used in China today and is responsible for about three quarters of electricity generation.

In just 5 years, from 2005 through 2009, China added the equivalent of the entire U.S. fleet of coal-fired power plants, or 510 new 600-megawatt coal plants.

From 2010 through 2013, it added half the coal generation of the entire U.S. again.

At the peak, from 2005 through 2011, China added roughly two 600-megawatt coal plants a week, for 7 straight years.

And according to U.S. government projections, China will add yet another U.S. worth of coal plants over the next 10 years, or the equivalent of a new 600-megawatt plant every 10 days for 10 years.
Helping China cut its coal emissions should be a top priority for all nations, including improving energy efficiencies further, using even more renewable energy, and deploying CO2 capture and storage technologies. The U.S. could go a long way to encouraging this by pursuing more aggressive CO2 reduction efforts at home.

China burns more than 4 billion tons of coal each year in power plants, homes, and factories. By comparison, the U.S. burns less than 1 billion, and the entire European Union burns 600 million. China surpassed the U.S. to become the largest global CO2 emitter in 2007, and it is on track to double annual U.S. emissions by 2017. While projections for the U.S. and Europe are for steady or decreasing coal use in the coming decades, barring major policy shifts, China’s coal use is expected to keep increasing."

...and that doesn't even begin to address India.

mjolnir's picture
mjolnir 7 years 33 weeks ago

"India thinks of coal right primarily as a poverty-fighting tool. It's the most vocal and influential champion of the fuel these days now that China's industrial hangover has begun. China in March took the dramatic step of shutting down the last four major plants that serve smog-choked Beijing, and recent analyses suggest that its coal use overall may peak by 2020.

Indian coal demand could jump 42 percent, or 300 million metric tons, by 2020, and India is expected to add 124 gigawatts of electricity capacity in that time, according to Bloomberg Industries. In just two years, it may surpass China as the largest importer of seaborne coal."


"The upshot is that the U.S. is dropping coal plants at an unprecedented rate, but still nowhere near as quickly as India is adding them. By the end of this year, some 7.5 percent of the U.S. coal fleet will have disappeared, casualties of low natural gas prices, old age, and new regulations. That's a lot. But by 2020, India may have built about 2.5 times as much capacity as the U.S. is about to lose. "

mjolnir's picture
mjolnir 7 years 33 weeks ago

"Russia is the world's third largest coal exporter, with the World Coal Association estimating that in 2013 it exported 118 million tonnes of thermal coal and 22 million tonnes of metallurgical coal.[2] The Australian Government's Department of Industry and Science estimates that in 2014 Russia exported 120 million tonnes of thermal coal and 22 million tonnes of metallurgical coal.[3]

The US Energy Information Administration noted in July 2015 that Russian coal exports "have almost tripled over the past decade."[1]"


"Government plans for 2020 would increase the proportion of coal-fired plants in the national fuel mix from 25% to 37%, and decrease the share of natural gas from 70% to 58%.[8]"

Anyone who thinks India, China and Russia are going to give up fossil fuels to chase the "renewable" dream is kidding themselves. Barring some "orders of magnitude" increase in the efficiency of solar cells, our determination as a Country to kick coal to the wayside will come to the detriment of our security.

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 33 weeks ago

It is amazing to what lengths the ruling elites will go to in order to sucker gullible fools into believing they are really are doing something to alleviate the climate change, peak oil, high energy price crisis. What incredible bull.

Thom claims: "25% green energy by 2020".

False. I looked up this non-peer reviewed piece of tripe from the IEA, but they have blocked it from public view with a paywall. So exactly how they invented those bogus numbers is unknown. Typically they do things like deflate real energy sources by counting only end-use energy while inflating renewable sources by factors of 3X, or counting passive solar heating, like how your home gets heated by the summer sunshine when you don't want that heat. And counting things like cooking fires or burning peat, actually non-renewable. What other creative accounting methods they are using, one thing is certain, mostly they are talking about biomass & conventional hydro.

Biomass is not sustainable and it most certainly is not Green. Destroying a complex tropical ecosystem, that has survived for 50 million years, with ten's of thousands of living species, a web of life, just so that all the biomass can be stupidly burned for heat & power. Outrageous destruction. Causing soil erosion, pollution, massive releases of greenhouse gases, soil mineral depletion, in fact, biomass burning is often a worse climate change agent than Coal and certainly pollutes just as bad, if not worse. The WHO has calculated biomass burning kills 3.5 million people every year.

And most Hydro expansion is in developing countries where vast areas of beautiful, productive ecosystems, are being decimated by giant hydro reservoirs. The huge reservoirs destroy enormous stores of vegetation and soil, causing massive releases of methane through rotting biomass, which makes the hydro almost as bad as fossil fuels in terms of GHG emissions. And large populations dispaced by the land destruction. Some reservoirs as much as 7000 producing as much power as Fukushima did, but even counting all the temporarily radioisotope contaminated land near Fuku was 400, which still remains a wildlife paradise & natural ecosystem, that has <1/10th the radiation level of a popular beach in Brazil. Hydro using some 1200X more land than Nuclear power. And climate change causes draught leading to low hydro output. And one Hydro dam failure in China killed ~200 thousand people. A near hydro dam collapse in Colorado in 1983 was one inch from being the worst natural disaster in US history:

Compared to that Fukushima plus Chernobyl look like a bad rainy day.

So to see the facts, not propaganda look here:

That is a graph of World energy consumption by fuel in MToe (millions of tonnes of Oil equivalent), 1990 to 2014 , with projections to 2035. This is from a peer reviewed analysis that uses standard accepted primary energy criteria. See any indication of " massive growth and salvation from renewable energy" in that? Didn't think so.

As you can see, total renewables, which includes biomass, waste-burning & conventional hydro, is 14% of total world energy consumption by 2020 and expected to remain at 14% by 2035. Whereas you see projected rapid growth in coal, oil & gas consumption over the same period. That is called realism, no fantasies here. No climate change solution in that. CO2 emissions, not only not being reduced, but actually rapidly increasing right through 2035 and beyond. So much for the renewables hype.

So the reality is that 94% of Thom's "Green Energy" is filthy, eco-destructive, unsustainable Biomass & Hydro. 75% Biomass. Hydro and Biomass are extremely limited by geography and not capable of much growth, so that is NOT going to even come close to solving the problem, not even capable of stopping the growth in energy & emissions.

The only theoretically expandable growth in renewables is solar and wind. Mostly solar, wind has resource limitations. And in 2014 total solar was 0.12% of world energy, wind was 0.47%. Not even close to viable as a solution. The EROI for wind & solar is well below the minimum required for a modern civilization. Just a pipe dream.

All of these renewable energy fantasy scenarios for our future energy needs are scams:

A critical review of global decarbonization scenarios: what do they tell us about feasibility?:

The truth is, only Nuclear energy is capable of replacing Fossil Fuels. A fact all fossil fuel interests know very well, which is why they heavily promote the renewable energy bait-and-switch scam.

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 33 weeks ago

I like how the Greenie religious types count dirty waste burning as "Renewable Energy" and "Sustainable energy". Even more stupidly "Clean Energy".

By that standard CANDU reactors which can & do burn nuclear waste should also be called "Renewable Energy".

Consider the waste from one Rare Earth mine, which makes raw materials for current Wind turbine & Solar PV production. The waste contains Thorium, which the mines have to pay to get rid of. Free for the taking, anyone who wants it. About 15 thousand tons per year of thorium from one mine. Burn that yearly in a LFTR or Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactor, and it would produce the World's entire energy supply. On a minute land area. That's energy 24/7 whether or not it is night or day, summer or winter, north or south, cloudy, sunny, a volcanic eruption or monsoon season, windy or calm, forested or barren landscape, snow, ice, hail, rain or dust storm. So I guess that should be called "Renewable energy" as well.

Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor Review and Presentations:

LFTR — A Nuclear Reactor That Can’t Melt Down? No High Pressure Coolant? Consumes Nuclear Waste? Are You Dreaming?:

Economics of Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors:

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors have Passive and Inherent Safety:

No Long-Term Toxic Waste Storage:

Useful LFTR Fission By-Products:

Robert Hargraves - Thorium Energy Cheaper than Coal @ ThEC12:

LFTRs to Power the Planet:

To generate electricity for a city of 1 million people for 1 year:

Mine 3,200,000 tonnes of coal - emit 8,500,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases and particulates - landfill 900,000 cubic metres of toxic/radioactive fly-ash. There is enough thorium in the fly-ash to power an equivalent size LFTR for 13 years.

Or Mine 50,000 tonnes of uranium ore, enrich & burn in a standard light water reactor - emit no greenhouse gases - produce 24 tonnes of radiotoxic 'waste'.

Or Mine 50 tonnes of equivalent thorium ore, burn in a LFTR, emit no greenhouse gases - produce 0.8 tonnes of radiotoxic 'waste':

Yottawatts From Thorium:

Thorium Ignited Nuclear Fusion:

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