85 per cent

One of my favorite “Our World in Data” charts is the one that shows the massive shift in the cost of solar. It is already a no brainer to build a solar power plant in most parts of the world and we’re likely to see this get much cheaper as we make more investments (thanks to “learning curves“).

And it was nice to see this chart showing new electricity capacity additions. 15 years ago, ~70% of new capacity was fossil fuel based. In 2021, that number was 15%.

85% of the electricity capacity added globally came from renewable sources. That’s a mind-blowing shift in just 15 years. And solar’s share has grown a whopping 13x.

As global carbon emissions continue to be at record levels (have they begun to peak?), this shift can’t happen fast enough.

The key, as is always the case with the adoption of disruptive technology, will be cost. And it’ll be fascinating to see how much lower costs will go.

Regardless, 85% renewables is a big deal – it gives me hope we’ll get to 100% in the next 2-3 years. That’ll be an incredible milestone and a great reminder of the idea that we regularly underestimate the progress we can make over a decade.