Fossil Power Falls 5th Year Running, as Renewables Soar

01.08.18 By

GLOBAL ELECTRICITY generated from coal and gas has fallen for a fifth consecutive year, while power generated from solar skyrocketed by around 22%, according to new data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Climate Councillor and energy expert Professor Andrew Stock said the findings from the International Energy Agency ‘Electricity Information 2018: Overview’ report confirms that the world’s move away from polluting and inefficient coal and gas continues to accelerate.

“Electricity created from fossil fuels dropped in 2017, while clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy such as solar and wind technology continued to boom, accounting for two-thirds of new power generation spending around the world,” he said.

The IEA report shows electricity generation from fossil fuels fell for a fifth consecutive year with electricity production from coal, gas and biofuels dropping to 67%. While electricity generation from solar increased by 22% (in the OECD), along with wind rising by 15%.

Professor Stock said the IEA’s report ‘World Energy Investment’ found that the rest of the world is walking away from fossil fuels, with China’s investment in coal power stations falling by 55% last year.

“India invested more in renewable energy than coal and gas combined in 2017,” he said.  

“It’s time to pull the plug on the fossil fuel life-support in Australia. In just over a decade, 55% of coal power stations across the nation will reach over 40 years of age. While in the last seven months alone (Dec 2017 – June 2018), we’ve already seen coal and gas power stations recording almost 100 breakdowns and failures.”

“In order to tackle climate change and provide affordable electricity, 24/7, there’s no room for new coal power stations, nor government subsidies for these polluting power sources.”

“We know the the estimated cost of building a coal power station with carbon capture and storage in Australia is over six times the equivalent cost of Australia’s largest wind farm – it’s a no brainer.”

With less than 10 days to go until state and territory energy ministers determine the future of the the Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG), the Climate Council is calling on states and territories to demand stronger emissions reduction targets for the electricity sector.

To view the International Energy Agency’s latest reports, please click here.

Read the Climate Council’s latest report ‘End of the Line: Coal in Australia.’

For more information please contact Senior Communications Advisor Alexia Boland on 0438 972 260.

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