The Coming of Age Sustainable Energy Sources: An Outlook

sustainable energy sources

Global energy consumption has been seeing rampant growth with respect to end-use year after year. Energy sources are altering, and swiping off, with significant changes coming in the future.

There was a humongous growth in renewable sources of electricity such as Wind and Solar energy. The supply of clean energy which includes wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, and others has provided an impressive total energy of 38%. This is clearly higher than the usual energy provider, coal, which stood at 36% of global electricity production last year.

With the hype around “no carbon footprints” to be left, there is a high possibility that the renewable and clean sources of energy will enjoy an increase in CAGR. It is predicted that by 2050, these renewable sources will approvingly contribute to the world’s electricity generation.

But that doesn’t account for coal being faded from the charts in coming years. According to our research, in near future, as already being observed, these sustainable energies might fall back a little due to a possible inability to be part of the production race. There are chances of seeing coal and other fossil-based sources indulging in energy formation to balance the possible supply and demand gap.

In the next 30 years, the percentage share of electricity generation by Wind and Solar Energy is going to go up by almost 27% and 35% respectively. Whereas, Coal and Gas are going to experience a decline of almost 112 and 10%.

Geographically, every region has been showing a different curve and expansion potential. APAC out of all is leading the chart with China being the face of all. A whopping 52% of energy generation happened from APAC alone with China contributing to half of the total net increase.

Electricity generation by regions

Electricity Generation by Regions (% Share, 2021)

To achieve the zero carbon emission target, emissions from electricity need to see a downfall of 55% in the coming 10 years. These numbers are quite high, making it quite a laborious task. Digging further, the CAGR of clean energy is going to shoot up by over 12% in APAC over the next 30 years.

Any supply increase that is expected in about 5 years lies on the shoulders of China, followed by India, Europe, and the United States.

World Electricity Generation by Source (Rounded Off to Nearest 100)


As a source, Coal has produced the maximum amount of electricity in 2021, followed by Gas, Hydro, Nuclear, Wind, and Solar.

Moving through the years, there is a dramatic shift in the types of sources that helps in supplying the electricity demand post the year 2021. There has been a sharp decrease in Coal as an end source for electricity production, with a dramatic rise in Wind and Solar energies to fulfill the electricity demand in the coming 30 years.

Global Investments in Energy Sector

Undoubtedly and for obvious reasons, the investments have been skyrocketing for the Renewables. In 2021, the figures stood at nearly $530 billion, used judiciously in ranking up the new generation capacities.

Again absolute growth was seen in China, where the investments were directed toward solar power.

Global investments in energy sector

This was followed by investing in wind power facilities in the United States and Europe having a share in both Wind and Solar facility advancement.

In 2021, there were no approvals provided for any coal or fossil fuel plants, which only sparks the analysis stating how the times are moving towards sustainability. But for sure, bridging the gap is going to take quite some time.

China led the way in technology shifts in 2020 and stood at first position when it came to Solar, Wind, and Hydropower capacity, followed by the United States, Turkey, Vietnam, Brazil, and others.

Wind and solar energy had their fair share of usage in the world. For solar energy, countries such as Chile (~13%), Australia (~12%), and Vietnam (~10%), among many others had the highest share of electricity generation from solar energy last year itself.

For wind energy, the major share was provided by countries such as Denmark (~45%), followed by Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and many others.

Now, the limelight is not on just wind and solar energy, surely other forms of energy are picking up the pace too.

Bioenergy, hydrogen-based, fossil fuels with CCUS, etc., have a rising curve altogether. Amongst all, hydrogen-based energy has a relatively better share and an unhindered rise as compared to others for electricity generation in a sustainable way.

ChemBizR has been relentlessly working on understanding the market as per the movements in the altering usage of sources of energy. We have been trying to comprehend the market and how the dynamics are going to shift. Seeing how the growth curve is moving, it is evident that renewable sources of energy would have a higher say. However, ruling out other sources of energy, completely, would take time.

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