Rendering of a home battery energy storage system. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Environment The World1. December 2022

Move Over, Dirty Energy: Renewables Are Here to Stay

The transition to clean energy follows its course as 87 countries have now crossed the 5% tipping point for green electricity sources like wind and solar – and 19 countries crossed the same tipping point for electric vehicles – a much-needed shift to limit the consequences of climate change.

As more solar panels and wind turbines are deployed, the expertise to make them improves. Decades of data show that “every time the global supply of solar doubles, the cost of adding more installations declines by almost 30%.”

The basic idea of the tipping point is the following: once the tough investments in manufacturing have been made and consumer preferences start to shift, the first wave of mass adoption sets the conditions to go much bigger for much cheaper. The world’s three biggest polluters – China, the United States, and Europe – wish to cut their greenhouse gas pollution to zero as they account for more than 75% of global emissions. Electric heat pumps are among the solutions to achieve this milestone as they can reduce energy consumption by 70%. They can be used to have more efficient water heaters, washing machines, and even electric cars. Some 20% of boilers in Europe have been replaced by electric heat pumps, allowing consumers to save more than $100 billion a year.


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