Renewable Electricity Generation Jumps by 13% to Reach Record High in 2023

Renewable electricity generation, excluding hydro, surged to a historic peak of 4,748 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2023, marking a 13% increase from the previous year, according to the latest report by the Energy Institute (EI) in collaboration with KPMG and Kearney. This growth was predominantly driven by advancements in wind and energy, which accounted for 74% of all net additional electricity produced globally.

The Statistical Review of , presenting comprehensive global energy data for 2023, revealed that renewables (excluding hydro) constituted 8% of primary energy consumption, with hydro included, the figure rose to 15%. emerged as a dominant player in additions, contributing 55% of global increases, surpassing for the first time on a per capita energy basis.

Despite these gains, global primary energy consumption soared to a record high of 620 exajoules (EJ), marking a 2% increase from the previous year. Fossil fuel consumption also reached unprecedented levels, rising by 1.5% to 505 EJ, driven by increases in coal and oil consumption, while gas consumption remained stable. Fossil fuels maintained a dominant share of 81.5% in the global energy mix, slightly down from 82% in the previous year.

Emissions from energy activities climbed by 2%, surpassing 40 gigatonnes of CO2 for the first time, underscoring the ongoing challenges in decarbonizing the global energy sector amidst rising energy demands.

Juliet Davenport, president of the EI, emphasized the dual challenges of energy security and climate change, stating, “Energy is central to human progress. It is also now central to our very survival.” Reflecting on the impacts of climate change, she added, “With global temperatures nearing a 1.5°C increase, 2023 experienced the warmest year on record, highlighting the urgent need for accelerated transitions to cleaner energy sources.”

Davenport noted the mixed energy landscape of 2023, where record highs in fossil fuel consumption and emissions coexisted with unprecedented renewable energy generation milestones. She highlighted the competitive edge of wind and solar energy as pivotal factors driving the renewable energy surge.

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