‘Fossil fuels for electricity to drop in 2023’

This marks the first time there’s been an annual fall in the use of fossil fuels without a pandemic or recession to blame

Big Zero Report 2023

This year the world is set to use less fossil fuels to produce electricity.

That’s according to a new report by Ember, claiming that China’s strides towards becoming a renewable energy powerhouse will have a role to play in the drop.

It will be the first time there has been a fall across a year in the use of fossil fuels without a pandemic or recession to blame.

The analysts have called the swing a ‘turning point’ in the world’s energy transition, with 12% of global electricity now made by wind and solar – enough to power almost the entirety of the UK.

Ember have analysed forthcoming projects and energy data from countries that represent 93% of the world’s electricity demand.

Clean energy produced 39% of all global electricity last year, with estimations that this will rise and coal and oil and gas will decrease.

Coal use was up in 2022 – with the researchers attributing this to issues with nuclear and hydropower; as rivers dried and many reactors were offline.

The fall in fossil fuels is expected to be by around 0.3% and although it is a small decrease, the authors stress it is a positive sign of a new trend for the future.

Dave Jones, one of the authors of the study, said: “We now have reached this next turning point of starting to see a new era of falling fossil fuel power sector emissions. We know that wind and solar are the answer and we’ve just got to get on with a roadmap for building them as quickly as possible.

“There is a chance that at the rate that China is building wind and solar and all types of clean generation, that they achieve that peak in coal generation earlier than 2025, which would be significant.”

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