Is Renewable Energy News Today

Is renewable energy news today

Renewable energy has seen explosive growth over the past decade. According to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy growth statistics show that renewables are expected to account for 90% of global power capacity growth in 2021 and 2022.1 This rapid expansion demonstrates the increasing viability and cost-competitiveness of renewable technologies like solar, wind, and hydropower. As renewables continue their meteoric rise, staying up-to-date on the latest news and trends will be crucial for everyone from policymakers to everyday consumers looking to understand the energy landscape of the future.

Overview of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy refers to energy that comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished. The major types of renewable energy include solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass (National Grid, 2022). Unlike fossil fuels which are finite resources, renewable energy comes from ongoing natural processes and can be replenished in a short period of time. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the most common renewable energy sources used for electricity generation are hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass (EIA, 2022).

Renewable energy provides a number of benefits compared to conventional fossil fuel energy sources. Most significantly, renewable energy generates little to no global warming emissions and does not lead to air or water pollution. As renewable energy is derived from natural and replenishable sources, it is considered clean and sustainable over the long-term. Increasing the supply of renewable energy allows countries to rely less on finite and polluting fossil fuel resources like coal, oil, and natural gas. The development and utilization of renewable energy is a key strategy to combat climate change globally.

Growth of Renewable Energy

In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in investment and capacity for renewable energy. According to the Renewable Energy Policy Network’s 2022 report, global renewable energy capacity grew by over 260 GW in 2021, increasing the total capacity by over 8% (1). This growth was driven by increased investment, which reached record levels of $366 billion in 2021. The increased investment and capacity additions have been supported by government incentives like tax credits, grants, and feed-in tariffs (1).

In addition to increased investment and capacity, the costs of renewable energy have fallen sharply, making it more competitive with conventional energy sources. Since 2010, the global weighted average levelized cost of electricity from new solar PV and onshore wind has decreased by 85% and 49% respectively (2). The declining costs are enabling renewable energy to compete without subsidies in many markets.

With growing investment, increased capacity, and falling costs, renewable energy continues to expand its role in electricity generation globally. Government policies have accelerated growth, while price declines are making renewables attractive options even without incentives.




Challenges for Renewable Energy

While renewable energy has seen rapid growth, expanding it further faces some key challenges that need focused efforts:

Intermittency of sources like solar and wind is a major challenge. Unlike fossil fuels which provide consistent power, solar and wind vary based on weather and time of day, meaning backup power or storage is needed (Analysis of energy sector planning and climate policy in Argentina).

Large scale energy storage is needed to store excess renewable power for when the sun isn’t shining or wind isn’t blowing. However, storage technology remains expensive and limited (IEEJ Outlook 2020).

Existing transmission infrastructure isn’t built to handle the unique characteristics of renewable power sources which are often located far from population centers. Major grid upgrades and expansion is required (Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development in India).

Policy uncertainty around regulations, incentives, and long-term commitments can hold back investment in renewables. Clear, consistent policies are important for driving further growth.

Key Renewable Energy News

In a major renewable energy policy development this year, the Inflation Reduction Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden in August 2022. This legislation invests over $369 billion in energy security and climate change, the largest climate investment in U.S. history (1). The bill includes tax credits and other incentives for renewable energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear power.

On the technology front, researchers at the University of Cambridge developed a new perovskite solar cell that achieved 29.5% efficiency in converting sunlight to electricity, a record high for this type of solar cell (2). Perovskite solar cells are cheap and easy to manufacture, making them a promising emerging solar technology.

Major renewable energy projects in development this year include the Sunrise Wind offshore wind farm off the coast of New York, which received approval to provide power to over 600,000 homes (3). Construction is expected to begin in 2023. There are also large-scale solar farms under development, like the Gemini Solar Project in Nevada which will have a capacity of 690 megawatts when completed.




Public Opinion on Renewables

Public opinion surveys show high levels of support among the general population for expanding the use of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. According to National Surveys on Energy and Environment, 73% of Americans supported policies to prioritize renewable energy over fossil fuels in 2018. However, analysis across Europe found that while most people hold positive views on renewable energy technologies, they still have concerns about costs and aesthetics such as visibility of large wind turbines.

Despite broad public approval, some utilities have been slow to transition to renewables, as they underestimate the public’s preference for clean energy sources. Research by Roberts shows a disconnect between utilities and their customers, with many utilities believing there is less support for renewables than surveys reveal.

The Future of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are expected to see massive growth in the coming decades. According to projections, solar energy capacity could increase 57% globally by 2024 as costs continue to fall (Source: Investments in renewable energy reached record levels in 2022, with over $1 trillion invested so far (

Many experts predict renewables have the potential to replace fossil fuels as the world’s primary energy source by 2050. However, integrating high levels of variable renewables will require investments in energy storage and microgrid technologies. Battery storage capacity is expected to grow exponentially to help manage renewable intermittency. Smart grids and distributed energy solutions will also play a key role in the renewable transition.

Skepticism and Critiques

While renewable energy has seen impressive growth in recent years, there are some common criticisms and concerns raised about its widespread adoption:

Intermittency is one of the biggest challenges. Sources like wind and solar are weather-dependent and generate electricity only when the wind blows or the sun shines. This can lead to instability in electricity supply. Energy storage solutions like batteries can help mitigate this, but add costs (Source).

High upfront capital costs are another barrier. Constructing large-scale renewable energy projects requires significant investment. The levelized cost of electricity from renewables has dropped sharply, but remains above conventional sources in some markets (Source).

Land use requirements, especially for bioenergy and solar farms, also draw criticism. Large renewable facilities can impact wildlife habitats and raise concerns about agricultural land being diverted away from food production (Source). Careful siting and land management practices can help address these issues.


In conclusion, renewable energy has seen impressive growth and adoption rates in recent years, but still faces challenges to become the dominant energy source globally. Key points covered in this article include:

– Many forms of renewable energy, like solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric, are becoming cheaper and more efficient.

– Government policies, tax incentives and public support have fueled growth for renewables in developed nations.

– Developing nations are investing more in renewable infrastructure to meet rising energy demands.

– Renewables have environmental benefits, but still provide under 30% of global energy needs currently.

– There are difficulties fully transitioning electric grids to handle intermittent clean energy.

– Energy storage, transmission, and smart grid technology require further innovation.

– While promising, renewables face skeptics and critique about true costs and feasibility.

In summary, renewables are seeing impressive adoption, but still have challenges to overcome before they dominate energy production worldwide.


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