Oct 14, 2019

Renewable energy outpaces fossil fuels in U.K. for first time since 1800s

Screenshot of chart showing U.K. power generation in Q3 2019 via Carbon Brief

Renewables outpaced fossil fuels in U.K. power generation during the third quarter of 2019 for the first time since the late 1800s, according to a new analysis from the site Carbon Brief.

Why it matters: "It is another symbolic milestone in the stunning transformation of the UK’s electricity system over the past decade," writes Simon Evans, deputy editor of the climate news and analysis site.

The important numbers: In the July-September stretch, 39% of U.K. power generation came from fossil fuels — nearly all gas with a bit of coal and oil.

  • Renewables edged ahead at 40%, including 20% from wind, 12% from biomass and 6% from solar. Nuclear provided 19%, they note.

But, but, but: "[A] lack of progress in other parts of the economy means the UK remains far off track against its upcoming legally-binding carbon targets, let alone the recently adopted goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050," Evans writes. And he notes that biomass, while renewable, still produces CO2 when burned.

Go deeper: The amount of voluntary renewable energy purchases keeps rising

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IEA boosts its renewable energy forecast as costs fall

Reproduced from IEA’s Renewables 2019 report; Chart: Axios Visuals

The International Energy Agency's new five-year renewable energy forecast sees faster growth than last year's outlook, but warns that movement toward zero-carbon sources is too slow to confront global warming.

What they found: The agency forecasts that total global renewable power capacity, which was 2,502 gigawatts last year, will increase 50% by 2024, with solar accounting for over half the expansion.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019

Big oil R&D in clean tech is hard to pin down

Data: BloombergNEF; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

How much research and development big oil companies are putting into cleantech is one of the few concrete metrics to gauge the industry’s varying shifts toward cleaner energy.

Between the lines: Pinning that figure down is tricky because many companies don’t disclose and even those that do use definitions that vary widely for what constitutes cleaner energy or low-carbon.

Go deeperArrowOct 15, 2019

To meet climate goals, oil producers must slash production

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The world's biggest publicly traded oil and natural gas companies would have to cut production by roughly a third on average by 2040 to meet the goals of the Paris climate deal, according to a new report.

The big picture: The opposite is occurring. Most oil and gas producers are expanding production in response to growing demand and the fact that the world is not on track to meet the Paris ambitions.

Go deeperArrowNov 1, 2019