Renewables Consumption by Region


Renewable energy consumption (including biofuels but excluding hydro) grew by 12.1%, below its historical average, although its increase in energy terms (3.2 EJ) was the highest on record and the largest for any fuel in 2019. By country, China was the largest contributor to renewables growth (0.8 EJ), followed by the US (0.3 EJ) and Japan (0.2 EJ).

Global Energy Ministers Plan Green Rebound from Coronavirus without China and US

Energy ministers from some of the world’s largest economies on Friday linked for an unprecedented global summit over how to put renewables at the centre of post-coronavirus recovery plans – but the US and China were absent from the ‘cloudroom’.
Danish climate & energy minister Dan Jørgensen claimed after the meeting that the “contours of a green coalition” had emerged from the 23-strong videoconference.
The global clean energy sector is pushing hard for massive economic revival plans being drawn up by governments to focus on a ‘green stimulus’ that turns the damage done by the pandemic into an opportunity to make progress in the climate fight – rather than throwing recovery cash at fossil and other ‘dying’ industries.
Friday’s event co-hosted by Danish government and the International Energy Agency (IEA) brought together energy ministers from a number of European nations – including Germany, France and the UK – along with the EU, plus others such as India, Canada, Indonesia and New Zealand. Company leaders and organizbirolations such as the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) also took part.
But the world’s biggest polluter, China, and its largest economy, the US, were absent from the discussions, which the co-hosts said marked the start of a initiative to link green industries and jobs to economic revival.
IEA executive director Fatih Birol said: “We have managed to bring together a diverse, high-level group of ministers, leaders of international organizations and prominent business people. By acting together, we can have far greater impact.”
Jorgensen added: “We are facing a huge task of restoring the world’s economies, but at the same time it also provides an opportunity to set a new green course for the world.
“The green transition must be an engine of the economic recovery we are facing. The support for the initiative and the agenda that we have set today is very uplifting.”
Asked by Recharge about the absence of the US and China from the meeting – and whether the global green stimulus initiative is weakened as a result – a spokesman for the Danish energy ministry said Denmark is actively working with individual US states and the Chinese government to promote clean energy.
The nations taking part were already involved in an IEA initiative focused on green economic stimulus, the spokesman added, when asked if China and the US federal government had been invited to participate.

BP has Announced a Net Zero Emissions Plan

A growing number of oil and gas companies are trumpeting plans to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions amid mounting pressure from investors, policymakers, and a public concerned about climate change—or the financial risks it poses to the sector.
In the latest move, BP announced its “ambition” on Wednesday to eliminate emissions from its operations, as well as from the oil and gas it directly extracts, by 2050. That would add up to more than 400 million metric tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions.
“It directly addresses all the carbon we get out of the ground,” just-appointed CEO Bernard Looney said in a statement.
The company says it will provide greater detail on the plan in September, but Looney did say during a press conference that it will entail gradually reducing BP’s fossil fuel production.
Achieving these targets would also require a major shift to clean energy sources, and likely planting trees or other methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the air. Any remaining users of BP’s oil and gas products in 2050 would have to install systems for capturing emissions from their plants, factories, or vehicles.
Renewable sources like wind, solar, and biofuels currently only represent a tiny fraction of the company’s operations or investments.
There is still one emissions gap in the plan. BP will only strive to halve the “carbon intensity” of the oil or gas that other companies produce, but which it purchases, processes and resells. (Carbon intensity refers to the level of emissions per unit of energy.)
As Bloomberg notes, only Repsol’s emissions targets seem to go further than BP’s at this stage, among the major oil and gas firms. In December, the Spanish company announced plans to fully decarbonize by 2050, including any emissions produced when customers use its products.
By way of comparison, Royal Dutch Shell has said it would cut the emissions intensity of its products 20% by 2035 and about 50% by 2050. France’s Total announced plans to cut emissions from its operations and energy use by at least 6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2025.
Other parts of BP’s plan include increasing investments outside of oil and gas; creating new business divisions focused on things like innovation and low-carbon energy; and installing monitors to detect leaks of methane, an especially potent greenhouse gas, at its sites. (BP is one of the world’s largest producers of natural gas, which is primarily made up of methane.)
But ultimately, the energy sector still needs to cut emissions much faster to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.
An analysis by Carbon Tracker in November found that major oil and gas producers need to slash collective production 35% by 2040—and some as much as 85%—to achieve the core goal of the Paris climate agreement: preventing global temperatures from soaring past a disastrous 2 ˚C of warming. Instead, the sector continues to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into projects to tap into new reserves of fossil fuels.

Asia Placed 90% of Global Offshore Wind Turbine Order Spree Last Year

The epicenter of the offshore wind power sector has shifted from Europe to Asia, according to figures revealed by Wood Mackenzie, with the analyst’s latest report shows that 17GW of offshore turbines were ordered around the world last year, with an astonishing 76% coming from China.
Yet even without the Chinese figures, Asia still beat Europe on offshore sales — with 2,098MW of non-Chinese Asian orders last year, compared to just 1,939MW in Europe. In total, more than 88% of offshore turbines ordered last year came from Asian countries.
“A nearly 2GW surge in offshore orders in Taiwan last year — and to a lesser extent in Vietnam — resulted in firm offshore wind turbine order intake in Asia, excluding China, exceeding offshore order intake in Europe for the first time within the annual period,” said WoodMac research director Luke Lewandowski.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, six Chinese turbine makers were among the top ten offshore OEMs in 2019, led by Shanghai Electric (also known as Sewind), with 4.9GW. It is the first time that a non-Western turbine maker has won the top spot in the global offshore wind market, said Lewandowski.
“A lower share of orders for offshore projects in Europe lowered the global average turbine rating for offshore orders to 5.8GW. However, increasing demand in China for turbines in the 6-8MW class and accelerated commercialization of offshore models rated more than 10MW have increased the market’s average rating year-over-year.”
The International Renewable Energy Agency has predicted the global offshore wind build-out could reach 1TW of plant by 2050. And the World Bank produced a study late last year that suggested “emerging” plays alone could ultimately add as much 3TW to the worldwide fleet.
The WoodMac report, Global Wind Turbine Order Analysis: Q1 2020, also shows that 2019 was a record year for global turbine orders (both onshore and offshore) with a new high of 98.85GW — more than half of which came from China. This global total was 39GW higher than the previous record set in 2018.
The 50GW of Chinese orders were “primarily driven by the expiration of the feed-in-tariff but was also enabled by new transmission capacity and the easing of ‘red warnings’ [issued by Beijing when curtailment of wind output is deemed to be so high, due to grid constraints, that no further wind projects can be approved by local authorities] in northern provinces”, explained Lewandowski.
Vestas dominated global onshore sales with a total of almost 18GW of orders in 2019.
The WoodMac report also showed a huge increase in demand for 4MW-plus onshore turbines, with global orders exceeding 1GW — a 202% year-on-year increase.