Renewables Pushing Towards Market Dominance

Cody Good
Pushing a boulder uphill
Courtesy of memdroid

Yesterday officially marked the beginning of a new chapter and custodian of the Statistical Review of World Energy (SRWE). Camus might tell you that Sisyphus is happy but we’re not sure if we can say the same for renewable growth after this report.

What happened: The Energy Institute (EI) has released their first edition of the SRWE since BP officially retired from the role last year. There are two key points to takeaway:

  1. 2022 proved to be a record year for natural gas, coal, lithium prices, and new wind and solar additions.
  2. The report changed its colour scheme to orange.

Deeper dive: In 2022, the SWRE reports that wind and solar combined for a total of 266 gigawatts of new capacity with solar contributing a full 72 percent of that. China accounted 37 percent of new solar and 41 percent of new wind additions.

  • For reference, 1 gigawatt of steady electricity is estimated to power up to 1 million households for one year. It should be said that these were capacity additions, meaning what they are capable of producing, not what they’ll produce continuously.

The record-breaking lift of solar and wind additions did little to dethrone oil, natural gas, and coal from their seat which held steady at 82 percent of primary energy consumption.

Big picture: If building enough solar and wind capacity to, in theory, power 266 million houses did little to shake up the actual energy mix, this year’s SRWE shines a light on the scale of what the renewable sector has in front of itself to overtake oil, natural gas, and coal as the world’s primary source of energy supply.

Renewables pushed their boulder up the mountain in 2022 just to find themselves back where they started coming into 2023.

+ Additional reading72nd Statistical Review of World Energy