Sunshine and tailwinds emerging

As we head into the summer, I felt it's crucial to remind ourselves about some incredibly positive developments. Our frenzied media landscape tends to feed on dramatic glimpses of brief events, yet positive developments often arise on a slow boil, which make them less attractive and almost invisible in the media. 

By  Philip Ripman

China outpacing transition expectations

According to Global Energy Monitor, an NGO focused on the international energy landscape, "China is on track to double its utility-scale solar and wind power capacity and shatter the central government's ambitious 2030 target of 1,200 gigawatts (GW), five years ahead of schedule, if all prospective projects are successfully built and commissioned." 


Yes, coal is still the dominant fuel used for electricity production, but the progress in transitioning to a greener electricity supply is significant. 

Moving closer to home, May was the first month on record where the EU produced more electricity through wind and solar than through fossil fuels, according to the think tank Ember:


Source: Ember, June 2023

This has also led to a record low use of coal in electricity production.

The usual caveats remain important, as renewables do not yet represent the whole solution due to baseload requirements. Then again, the progress in transitioning to a greener electricity supply is significant.

Energy security influencing renewables investment

And on a last note on the greener side of things, here's the latest from the International Energy Agency:

"Global investment in clean energy is on course to rise to USD 1.7 trillion in 2023, with solar set to eclipse oil production for the first time." 

"Investment in clean energy technologies is significantly outpacing spending on fossil fuels as affordability and security concerns triggered by the global energy crisis strengthen the momentum behind more sustainable options," according to a new IEA's May 2023 report.

The energy security angle is more important as a driver than it was previously, and it's not just a product of the invasion of Ukraine, but also a product of increasing competition between the US, the EU and China. However, while the technology used to produce renewable energy remains a highly competitive industry, a value proposition inherent in wind and solar is its availability to everyone, everywhere. 

Source: International Energy Agency, May 2023

Finding the brighter side

No doubt the daily flood of negative news will continue. And speaking for myself – it can become a challenge to navigate that. Yet, we still need to highlight that what we are doing is actually working and explain why it is working.

The renewables market continues to be volatile, but the size of the market is growing, the need for investments into clean energy initiatives continues to grow, and we continue to see positive developments. They just don’t generate the same number of clicks! 

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