Oct 3, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Renewable energy will keep rising through 2050, but so will CO2 emissions

Adapted from EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Led by wind and solar, renewable energy will make up nearly 50% of global electricity within the next 30 years, up from today’s 28%, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Yes, but ... The data also finds that carbon dioxide emissions will keep rising over that same time period, underscoring a stubborn, inconvenient fact: To tackle climate change, you need to address the emissions from oil, natural gas and coal, not just rapidly increase renewables.

Go deeper: Climate denial among D.C. policymakers thrives in echo chambers

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U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell by estimated 2.1% in 2019

Power lines in California in 2019. Photo: Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.1% in 2019 due to a decrease in national coal consumption, according to estimates from the Rhodium Group released Tuesday.

Why it matters: Power generated from coal plants fell by a record 18%, and overall emissions from the power section declined by almost 10% — despite an increase in emissions from natural gas.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020

EIA predicts renewables will become largest U.S. electricity source before 2050

Reproduced from EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Energy Department's data arm is more favorable on renewables' long-term future than it was a year ago, but its central analysis might still be badly underestimating the tech's trajectory.

Driving the news: The Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook released yesterday shows power from renewables overtaking natural gas as the nation's largest electricity source in about 15 years.

Go deeperArrowJan 30, 2020

Wind and solar would struggle to replace coal-mining jobs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A global transition is underway from coal to renewable energy, but a corresponding jobs shift is far less certain.

Driving the news: Wind-industry jobs aren’t a “feasible” replacement for local coal-mining jobs in the world’s four biggest coal-producing nations, and although solar is better situated than wind, it would require a massive buildout, a new peer-reviewed report finds.