Report: World Reached Key 30% Clean Energy Mark in 2023

May 17, 2024

Global Electricity Generation by Source 2023

A boom in solar and wind energy use allowed the world to rely on clean energy sources to provide nearly a third of its power in 2023. At 30%, that’s the highest it’s ever been, Ember said in its Global Electricity Review.

Ember is an energy think tank. “The renewables future has arrived,” Dave Jones, Ember’s global insights director, told CNN. Jones said solar is soaring faster than most thought likely. 

Global energy demand and consumption did tick up in 2023. But experts still see the slow, yet steady, shift away from fossil fuels that cause climate change as good news. In 2000, fossil fuels like coal and natural gas produced 64.7% of the world’s power. That number fell to 60.6% in 2023. The amount of planet-warming carbon emissions produced by fossil fuels likewise fell. It's down 12% from its peak in 2007.  

Solar was the fastest growing energy source for the 19th straight year. Combined with wind, hydroelectric, and nuclear power sources, it helped the world produce 39.4% of its energy from low-carbon sources. 

China once again led the growth in energy demand. But it also poured hefty resources into scaling up its use of clean energy. It produced over 35% of the world’s solar energy output in 2023. That covered only 6% of its total energy use, though. Other nations had a far higher share of their gross power consumption fulfilled by solar. Chile, for instance, got 30% of its energy from solar. And the state of California, which boasts the world’s fifth largest economy? It got 28% of its power from solar.   

Reflect: Why do you think using clean energy like solar and wind power is important? How do you think it might help our planet?

Based on the information in the infographic, which clean energy resources together made up 13.3% of the global electricity generation in 2023? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. hydro and nuclear
b. nuclear and wind
c. wind and solar
d. solar and bioenergy
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