S. Himmelstein | July 12, 2022
The five main sources of renewable energy — hydroelectric, solar, wind, geothermal and biomass — combined for roughly 28% of global electricity generation in 2021, with wind and solar collectively breaking the 10% share barrier for the first time.
Hydroelectric power, the largest renewable electricity source, channels the kinetic energy from flowing water into electricity by using a turbine generator. The second largest source, wind energy, relies on large rotor blade-equipped turbines to capture the kinetic energy created by wind. Solar energy, biomass systems and geothermal energy technologies round out the greatest contributors to renewable energy supply.
According to forecasts prepared by the International Energy Agency (IEA), global renewable electricity capacity will grow by 60% from 2020 levels to over 4,800 GW by 2026, equivalent to the current power output of fossil fuels and nuclear combined.
Source: Ember/U.S. Department of Energy/IEA