Friday, 17 August 2012


...without comment

How much electricity do solar and wind make on a global scale? Answer: “Not much”
Simple numbers are hard to get, so when Anton Lang pointed me at the EIA site (U.S. Energy Information Administration), I wanted to give everyone the straight answer to the question: just how much electricity do renewables make on a global scale? The EIA has the only database in the world with a this much accuracy.
The answer is that 80% of our electricity comes from the fossil fuels and nuclear that the Greens despise. Hydroelectricity, with all its pluses and minuses, produces a serious 16% of the total. But all the vanity renewables bundled together make about 3.5% of the total.
Wind power is a major global industry but it’s only making in the order of 1.4% of total electricity. And solar is so pathetically low that it needs to be bundled with “tidal and wave” power to even rate 0.1% (after rounding up).
For all the fuss and money, if the world’s solar powered units all broke tonight, it would not dent global electricity production a jot.
No one connected to a grid would notice.

These are the total global numbers from the US Energy Information Agency (The  EIA) for 2009.

 EIA Global Electricity production 2009 figures
Global Electricity Generation total
     Global Renewables total
  3,760 TWH
Hydroelectric Power
 3145 TWH
NON hydroelectric:
Biomass and Waste
  271 TWH
Global Wind power:
  262 TWH
Global Geothermal:
   63 TWH
Global Solar, Tide & Wave:
   19 TWH
NON hydroelectric total:
615 TWH
The figures here are the most recent whole year figures available. Some figures for 2010 are not listed on the EIA site yet. Even though there is more solar and wind power capacity now, China has been adding a 2GW coal fired station every week or two, so I’m led to believe that the latest pie graph would not look altogether different.

19 AUG 2012 addition:
And see also:

1 comment:

  1. hey. the statistics here are mind boggling. thanks for sharing such informative blogs. they do really motivate on going green .

    solar canada