Rise in the share of renewables in the EU’s power mix between 2000 and 2019.
In 2019, the share of renewable energy sources (RES, including hydropower) within the global power generation mix rose by 1.1 percentage point to nearly 27% of the power mix, following the rising trend it started in the 2000’s.
This growth mainly comes from new wind and solar capacities since the share of hydropower in the global power mix has remained broadly stable since 2000 at around 15%. The continuous fall in costs of solar and wind technologies and ambitious climate policies in the EU, the USA, China, India, Japan and Australia contributed to raise renewable capacities and power generation. Favourable hydro conditions also raised renewable power generation in China, India, Turkey, Russia, Iran, and Nigeria.
Renewables now cover 35% of the power mix in the EU, 27% in China, 21% in India and around 18% in the USA, Russia and Japan.
South Korea’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions declined by 7.3% in 2020 to 649 MtCO2eq (i.e. -10.9% compared with the 2018 peak of 729 MtCO2eq). GHG emissions have been driven down by South Korea's energy and industrial sectors (-7.8% and -7.1%, respectively). In the power sector, total emissions decreased by 12.4% due to temporary shutdowns of coal-fired power plants resulting in lower coal-fired power generation and due to an increased renewable power generation. Emissions from the transport sector (included in the energy sector) contracted by 4.1%, owing to reduced travel (COVID-19-related restrictions) and the continuous deployment of low-emission vehicles. Residential emissions grew by only 0.3%, while emissions from business and public sectors fell by 9.9%. In the industrial sector (-7.1%), the reduced activity affected the energy-intensive branches such as chemicals (7.6% drop in GHG emissions), steel (-2.5%) and cement (-8.9%).
Due to the drop in emissions, the South Korean emission trading scheme (ETS) is over-supplied, and the authorities set a temporary price floor for allowances, as the price fell below the government's minimum threshold. However, the average price for allowances increased from KRW29,500/tCO2 (US$25.2/tCO2) in 2019 to KRW30,200/tCO2 (US$25.4/tCO2) in 2020.
Australia's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dipped by 5% in 2020 (-26.1 MtCO2eq) to 499 MtCO2eq, according to the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. GHG emissions from the power sector declined by 4.9% but still accounted for a third of total GHG emissions in Australia. In addition, fugitive emissions (10% of total GHG emissions in 2020) declined by 8.8%, partly due to a lower coal production, and emissions from transport (18% of total GHG emissions in 2020) contracted by 12.1%, because of COVID-19 restrictions. In 2020, Australia's GHG emissions stood 20.1% below their 2005 level (the baseline year for the Paris Agreement). The country has committed to reduce its emissions by 26-28% by 2030 from 2005 levels.
The share of renewables in the Dutch gross final energy consumption rose from 8.8% in 2019 to 11.1% in 2020, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Most of the renewable consumption was biomass (6% of final energy consumption), followed by wind (2.5%), solar (1.5%) and others (1%).
Energy-related CO2 emissions in the European Union contracted by 10% in 2020, as a result of COVID-19 containment measures that had a significant impact on transport and industrial activities. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion decreased in all countries, with the largest contractions in Greece (-19%), Estonia, Luxembourg (-18% each), Spain (-16%) and Denmark (-15%). They fell by around 9% in Germany (25% of EU's total energy-related CO2 emissions), and by around 11% in Italy (12% of total emissions) and France (11% of total emissions). Emissions cuts were limited in Malta (-1%), Hungary (-1.7%), Ireland and Lithuania (both -2.6%).