In this article, we are going to list the 10 fastest-growing energy sources in 2020. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 fastest-growing energy sources in 2020.
In our economic infrastructure, energy is one of the major components as a majority of our activities rely on it. Energy is required in every sector be it agricultural, industrial, economical and residential. There are two sources of energy, conventional and non-conventional. A conventional source of energy cannot be reused as it is non-renewable. This includes coal, oil, fuelwood, thermal power plant and nuclear energy. For a very long time, we have mostly relied on conventional source of energy and due to such high consumption, the resources are depleting at an accelerating rate. Due to the shortage of resources and the harmful impacts of the conventional sources of energy, many countries are now shifting towards non-conventional sources. However, this shift can be seen mainly in developed countries as they have the economic power to make this transformation easily. Whereas, a major part of the world still relies on fossil fuels to fulfil their energy requirements. This is why almost five years ago the most used energy sources were oil, coal, and gas. In 2015, oil accounted for almost 39% of energy consumption on the global level. Coal and gas accounted for 28% and 22% of global consumption respectively.
While energy sources help us to progress they simultaneously harm our environment as well, whether they’re conventional or non-conventional (renewable). However, conventional energy does substantially more harm to our environment. The energy that is produced through the burning of fossil fuels has been accounted for generating more than three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions. By 2017 we had extracted 136 billion tonnes of crude oil to fuel our power states, drive our automobiles, and to heat our homes. In 2017, 19.88 million of petroleum was consumed in the United States alone every day. This consumption of conventional energy has been the major factor in climate change. It has changed our weather pattern, threatened food production, and rose sea levels, etc. This rising temperature has also led to an increase of evaporation, causing the water cycle to speed up.
This is why while conventional energy sources remain popular in today’s world, there has been a major increase in alternative, renewable energy sources. In the United States, during the first four months of 2020, renewable energy produced 27.1% more electricity than coal. Moreover, renewable energy sources produced 2.5% more electricity than nuclear power. On a global level, wind power accounted for the largest share of renewable energy in 2018 as the demand increased by 2.1%. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2017 renewable energy accounted for 25% of global electricity generation. In addition, the demand for coal dropped by 3.3% in 2019. A closer look indicates that the decline in coal consumption has been mainly in the European Union. Juxtaposed to this, there was an increase in coal consumption in the Asia Pacific region. By 2018 China accounted for 40% of the total growth in wind and solar PV whereas the United States accounted for 40% of the increase in hydropower. In 2020, due to the worldwide lockdowns, global energy demand decreased by 3.8% in the first quarter. The global oil and coal demand decreased the most. For instance, oil demand decreased by 5% in the first quarter due to the reduction in mobility and aviation.
According to the International Energy Agency in 2020 renewable energy was the only source that demonstrated growth in demand due to larger installed capacity and priority dispatched. Moreover, many businesses have also shifted towards renewable energy to drive profits. Existing research showcase that by switching to renewable energy, companies have derived bottom-line advantages by no longer facing fluctuating fossil fuel prices. Also, in longer-run, renewable energy is more cost-effective. The three fastest-growing energy sources in 2020 have been solar photovoltaic, wind, and hydropower. Both the types of solar energy, solar photovoltaic and solar thermal, saw a progressive growth in the last couple of years. In 2019 the global solar power market size was $163.70 billion and by 2027 it is expected to reach $194.75 billion. Even wind power had massive growth in recent years. For instance, in 2000 wind power was generating less than 1% of the United States electricity and by 2018 the rate climbed to almost 7%. The key players in the United States are SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR), Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE), Avangrid (NYSE: AGR) and First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR).
Having said that, due to COVID-19 the whole world faced supply disruption due to which the market faced unprecedented challenges in growth. This is why while analyzing the fastest-growing energy we have taken the past performance and future growth estimation into consideration. Moreover, the sources we have taken into account are International Energy Agency, Mordor Intelligence, and Fortune Business Insight, etc. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the energy sources looking to dominate the sector over the next several years, starting with number 10:
Starting with number 10 we have nuclear. Nuclear energy provides 55% of the United States’ clean energy. What makes it an ideal energy source is the fact that while generating electricity, it does not emit greenhouse gas. It is 1.5 to 2 times more reliable than natural gas and 2.5 to 3.5 times more reliable than wind and solar plants. All over the world, 440 nuclear reactors are currently generating 10% of global electricity. According to International Atomic Energy Agency, by 2025 the nuclear capacity would be double. Of course, due to COVID-19, the growth of nuclear energy was halted in 2020, but even then an increase of 3% is expected in 2021.