Renewable energy is soaring. In fact, it’s growing at a record rate. While global energy consumption is declining, renewable energy is on the rise. The UK is throwing its weight behind renewable energy as the driving force to achieving net zero by 2050. However, China and the United States are leading the way with global renewable energy consumption.
At Green Switch Capital, we’re working with hundreds of landowners to help Britain reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Our goal is to create a sustainable, self-reliant energy market in the UK.
There’s a lot that the UK can learn from our global partners. Summer 2022 was a rollercoaster for renewable energy, from skyrocketing demand to eye-watering energy costs. We’re exploring why global renewable energy consumption is soaring and what it means for a net-zero future.
Renewable Energy and Summer 2022
Let’s step back and look at the picture of summer 2022. In the background of record-breaking temperatures, energy demand skyrocketed. The war in Ukraine added pressure with fossil fuels in short supply. While some crises are localised, it’s having an impact on global energy consumption.
While renewable energy is more affordable than fossil fuels, it’s not exempt from rising prices. Supply change pressure and inflation mean that infrastructure cost is rising – although at a much slower pace than fossil fuels.
Before the current inflation crisis, the cost of producing renewable energy was steadily decreasing. This trend will likely return when the economy and supply chains bounce back.
The Pandemic and Global Energy Consumption
At the start of the pandemic, global energy consumption drastically dropped. The only form of energy production that didn’t decline was renewable energy. Global renewable energy consumption jumped by 9.7% in 2020. It’s a major achievement in the context of how the pandemic reduced global energy demand.
2021 saw COVID-19 restrictions begin to relax, and global energy consumption rise. Every form of energy saw growth in 2021, with renewable energy leading the way. Global renewable energy consumption grew year-on-year by 15% in 2021. This growth is above the previous trend of average annual renewable energy growth of 12.6%.
Supply chain pressures are still ongoing but starting to lessen in pressure. Shipping costs for supplies are dropping but still significantly more than pre-pandemic levels.
Looking to the Future
The future is still positive for renewable energy. Global capacity for solar, wind, and other renewable energy is predicted to accelerate over the next decade. Rising supply costs aren’t stopping the march of renewable energy in 2022.
Renewable energy is the only energy category that has seen double-digit growth virtually every year of the last decade, narrowly missing it in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Public opinion is drastically changing around renewable power. 70% of Britons believe renewable energy is the solution to the rising cost of living. While the cost of onshore wind and solar have risen, it’s been at a significantly slower pace than other energy categories. The cost gap between renewables and coal and gas has widened.
The gap between wind and solar with gas power is at its greatest. While renewable power costs are rising, they remain the most affordable option in almost every market. Most renewable energy is being price-locked at a lower cost. The affordability of renewable energy and its zero carbon emissions make it the most attractive option for global economies.
The Countries Leading the Way
Although the UK is focusing on renewable energy to achieve net zero by 2050, we’re not the global leader. China is the leading global renewable energy consumer, with the highest growth rate consistently for the last decade. It’s predicted to hit 1200 GW of wind and solar capacity by 2026. This current progress puts it four years ahead of its original 2030 target.
Unexpected countries are also leading the way with renewable energy. India is seeing rapid growth and topping the charts with its rate of growth. The country is doubling its number of new installations compared to 2015-2020. This trend is one we can see globally. Europe and the United States expect rapid growth in infrastructure compared to the same period.
The global renewable energy capacity expansion is being spearheaded by China, Europe, India, and the United States – accounting for 80% of worldwide expansion.
Wind and Solar Energy
Wind and solar are leading the way in global renewable energy consumption. Wind accounts for almost 49% of renewable energy consumption, while solar power accounts for 27.2%. Although wind is the leading category, solar power is seeing the most consumption growth – double that of wind.
There are hurdles to be overcome for wind and solar power. Grid integration is a major issue, particularly in the UK, where electricity capacity is currently limited. Many landowners are priced out of investing in renewable energy due to supply costs and the complex nature of the energy market.
That’s where Green Switch Capital comes in. Our land leasing programme allows you to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy and earn passive income. Repurposing land that has already been disturbed by humans, instead of using new land, is more affordable and environmentally friendly. Abandoned agricultural fields, brownfields, and rooftops are the ideal locations and can increase biodiversity.
We’re committed to realising the potential of renewable technology and moving the UK’s green energy industry into the future. Green Switch Capital specialises in solar, wind, and battery storage. Each of these will play a role in achieving net zero by 2050 and making the UK a global leader in renewable energy production.
The only way we can achieve net zero and prevent a climate catastrophe is by scaling the UK’s renewable energy production at a rapid pace.
At Green Switch Capital, we’re committed to creating a net-zero future through renewable energy. We’re working with hundreds of landowners to help Britain achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. You can help us create a sustainable, self-reliant energy market and earn passive income by leasing your land for renewable power infrastructure.
Together, we create a green future. Contact our team to find out more about our land leasing programme.