Global energy sector emissions increase despite growth in renewables

Despite rising renewables deployment, global energy-related emissions rose by almost 1% in 2022, leading to fresh warnings that the world is “stubbornly stuck” when it should be pushing toward the 1.5C target of the Paris Agreement.

Global energy sector emissions increase despite growth in renewables

Renewable power rose by 14% in 2022, slightly below the growth rate of 16% in 2021

According to the latest Statistical Review of World Energy report, energy-based global carbon emissions reached a record high with a 0.8% increase in 2022.

The report reveals that the carbon emissions from energy use rose to 39.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e), contributing to 87% of total global emissions last year.

The Energy Institute’s (EI) president, Juliet Davenport OBE HonFEI, said: “We are still heading in the opposite direction to that required by the Paris Agreement.”

While the emissions from energy use, industrial processes, flaring, and methane continued to rise to a new high growing 0.8% in 2022 to 39.3 GtCO2e, with emissions from energy use up by 0.9%, the carbon emissions from energy generation including flaring decreased by 3.8% and emissions from methane and industrial processes decreased by 0.2%.

As last year witnessed a 1% increase in total primary energy consumption, the renewables’ (excluding hydroelectricity) share of primary energy consumption reached 7.5%, an increase of nearly 1% in 2022, while the fossil fuel consumption as a percentage of primary energy remained steady at 82%.

The KPMG’s head of energy and natural resources, Simon Virley CB FEI, said: “Despite record growth in renewables, the share of world energy still coming from fossil fuels remains stubbornly stuck at 82%, which should act as a clarion call for governments to inject more urgency into the energy transition.”

Solar and wind reached a record high of 12% share of power generation with solar recording 25% and wind power 13.5% growth in output.

Renewable power rose by 14% in 2022, slightly below the growth rate of 16% in 2021, and accounted for 84% of net electricity demand growth in 2022.

UK focus

As per the report, renewables accounted for 18% of total primary energy consumption in the UK.

While the UK demonstrated a 3.8% reduction in carbon emissions in the last decade, it showed a reversal in progress with a 0.9% increase in carbon emissions in 2022.

The UK’s renewable energy consumption increased by 10.1% with a 9.2% increase in renewable energy generation in 2022.

Electricity generation from renewables in the UK was 39.7% of total energy consumption in 2022 with a 24% increase in solar energy generation and wind energy generation witnessing a 14.7% increase; however, unresolved bottlenecks causing energy waste remain a source of concern for the sector.

The news comes after a report from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) unveiled that the world is now at risk to lose a decade-long progress on global goals with none of the sustainable development goals on track to be achieved by 2030.

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