The share of solar and wind in the power mix of the United Arab Emirates tripled in 2019.
In 2019, the share of wind and solar in the global power mix rose by 1.1pts, as renewable power generation continued to grow at a high pace (+12% for wind and +24% for solar), while thermal – especially coal-fired – power generation declined. Offshore wind power generation increased by 20%, driven by a surge in Belgium, Germany and the UK, which commissioned 5.5 GW of offshore wind capacity over the past two years.
Falling costs and ambitious renewable policies contributed to accelerate wind and solar capacity additions (+60 GW and +97 GW, respectively). They boosted the share of wind and solar in China (wind and solar generation grew by 10% and 31% respectively, to nearly 9% of the power mix), the USA (+9% and 15%, respectively, to nearly 10% of the power mix), the EU, Japan, India, Australia and Latin America (strong momentum in Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina). Wind and solar technologies are progressing in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, despite a still modest share. They remain marginal in Africa and in fossil fuel producing areas (CIS and the Middle East).
Switzerland’s electricity consumption declined by 2.6% in 2020 to 55.7 TWh, according to the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. This decline was due to the COVID-19 related lockdowns (-4.3% in electricity consumption in the first quarter and -7.8% in the second quarter of 2020), and to economic trends (2.9% drop in the GDP), weather conditions (the number of heating degree days fell by 4.4% compared to 2019) and energy efficiency improvements to a lesser extent.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from operators covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) fell by 13.3% in 2020, due to an 11.2% decrease in emissions from stationary installations (power plants and manufacturing plants) to 1.331 MtCO2eq and a 64.1% decrease in emissions from aviation, a sector which was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to 24.5 MtCO2eq.
The power sector posted a 14.9% decrease, as a result of reduced electricity consumption due to the pandemic and continued decarbonisation trends, including both the switch from coal to gas-fired power generation, and the replacement of fossil fuels by renewables. In addition, emissions from industry decreased by an average of 7%, with reductions observed in most sectors, including iron and steel (-11.7%), cement (-5.1%), chemicals (-4%) and refineries (-8.1%).
According to preliminary data from the Ministry of the Ecological Transition, France’s primary energy consumption decreased by 9.9% in 2020 to 2,571 TWh. Final energy consumption declined by 7.9% to 1,637 TWh in 2020, including 147 TWh for non-energy uses (final consumption for energy use at constant climate declined by 5.6% in 2020). The lockdown measures and travel restrictions had a significant impact on energy consumption in the transport and industrial sectors: energy consumption fell by nearly 16% in transport and by 6.5% in industry. The energy consumption of residential and tertiary building adjusted for climate variations increased slightly (+1.5% with climate corrections).
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fell by 1.7% in 2019 to 5,769 MtCO2eq (including LULUCF), i.e. 13% below their 2005 level. The decrease in total energy consumption in 2019 (compared to 2018) and to a continued shift from coal to gas and renewables in the power sector reduced emissions from fossil fuel combustion.