2020 renewables use spike not enough to meet climate change goals

Solar park. Stock image.

Solar and wind power are among the renewable energies forecast to spike in 2020, accounting for two-thirds of the new power generation capacities coming on line, a new report shows.

Experts from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), forecast energy consumption from non-hydro renewables to rise by 14% next year, while oil-generated energy would grow by just 1%, even with prices remaining range-bound despite political tensions in the Middle East.

Renewables use spike in 2020 not enough to meet climate change goals

“Global energy supply is still a long way from being decarbonized,” says Peter Kiernan, chief energy analyst at EIU. “The world will still depend mainly on fossil fuels in 2020, with rising use of natural gas and oil more than compensating for a slight decline for coal.”

Natural gas will lead growth among the fossil fuels, with a 2.6% increase, the report says. Such growth will also put it ahead of hydro power and nuclear energy. Coal consumption, in turn, is expected to edge down slightly.

The study highlights that the Paris Climate Change Agreement will use 2020 as the base year against which the 2030 targets will be measured. However, the experts predict that those targets will likely to be missed, particularly if the United States goes ahead with its plan to exit the agreement.

“If Donald Trump wins the presidential election on November 3 2020, then this exit will take effect the next day. This will make developing countries less willing to sacrifice economic growth in order to cut emissions,” EIU states.

The report comes on the heels of a United Nations report, released late November, which said countries were not doing enough to keep the planet’s temperature from rising to near-catastrophic levels.

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