The Renewable Boom Has Barely Impacted Oil & Gas

A decade ago, fossil fuels accounted for just over 80 percent of final energy consumption in the world. During the last ten years, renewable energy has boomed, and installations continue to soar to record highs. But oil, gas, and coal still represent over 80 percent of final energy consumption, despite the rising share of renewable energy in the world’s total energy consumption.

Fossil fuel use around the world hasn’t retreated despite the avalanche of net-zero pledges, significantly increased support to clean energy from governments, and record-high installations of solar and wind power in recent years.

To be fair, fossil fuel use has dropped in overall global energy consumption over the past decade, but by a meager 0.1 percentage point, from an 80.3 percent share back in 2009 to 80.2 percent in 2019, a new report from REN21, a global renewable energy community advocating for a transition to clean energy, showed.

“We are waking up to the bitter reality that the climate policy promises over the past ten years have mostly been empty words. The share of fossil fuels in final energy consumption has not moved by an inch,” REN21’s Executive Director Rana Adib said.

This is a sobering thought for green energy enthusiasts: How come the record renewable energy capacity additions over the past decade failed to significantly dent the global use of oil and gas?

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