Backyard Talk

Renewables Become the Second Most Popular Source of Electricity

By: Katie O’Brien
Renewables have just become the second most popular source of electricity in the World! Making it the first time since 2001, natural gas was bumped from the number two spot. While coal still holds the number one spot, this is a huge step in the right direction for clean energy.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 41% of electricity still came from coal, but over 22% came from renewable sources, such as solar, wind, and wave power. The increase in renewables can be attributed to 34 countries that are apart of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), that work together to seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and provide a platform to compare policy experiences. The increase however is not caused by a growth in renewable infrastructure, but rather an enormous decrease in coal electricity production. A study done by West Virginia University shows that there will be 39% decrease in coal production by 2035.
Europe has been a frontrunner in renewables. In the first quarter of this year, the U.K. alone produced over 22% of their power solar sources. Last year, Scotland provided enough electricity through wind power to power 72% of homes within the country. The European Renewable Energy Council has predicted that by the year 2050 (or sooner), that the European Union will have a completely renewable energy supply for the entire E.U. territory.
The U.S. is also working towards a more renewable future. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in 2004, investments in renewable energy were around $9 billion. In the first quarter of 2015, that number rose to more than $50 billion. With renewables on the rise, and fossil fuels on the decline, the World is looking to a greener, cleaner, and brighter future.