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Solar and wind power lose to coal again

Credit: Aleksander Kryazhev | RIAN

In 2018, the world’s demand for electricity increased again. Based on the statistics provided by BP, the growth has been 3.7%, which is one of the largest rates in the past 20 years.

The data was presented by BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale in BP’s annual review of world energy at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations. The growth was mainly due to the demands of developing markets such as China and India, as well as the United States.

The company notes that in terms of source, the growth was secured by renewable energy sources that already produced extra 14.5% of energy last year. Power generation from coal and natural gas grew at significantly slower rate. Most energy from renewables was produced in China. The fastest growth was seen in wind power use.

However, despite the seemingly wide use of renewable energy, its share in the production of electricity has hardly changed in the past 20 years. Natural gas and especially coal are still essential in energy production. Thus, according to the report, coal accounts for 38% electricity in the world while renewable sources deliver 36%. A high level of carbon emissions remains the disadvantage of this market structure.

“We drive electric cars that do not need gas but still run on the electric power generated by coal. We have not achieved any progress,” says Spencer Dale.

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