Growth in low-carbon electricity by TWh, but not by %

Chart 1: the growth of low-carbon generation (but not share)


Chart 2: the growth of total electricity demand



This week’s chart is actually two charts. 

The first shows how low-carbon electricity generation has been growing strongly, when measured in TWh (left-hand axis): it has doubled since the early 1990s.

However as a percentage of all electricity generated (right-hand axis), low-carbon was higher in the 1990s than it is today. 

The explanation for these apparently clashing statements is provided in the second chart: fast though low-carbon generation has grown, overall electricity demand has grown just as fast (slightly faster in fact). 

It’s clear that if we want global electricity to become low-carbon, we can’t just focus on building new supply, we need to slow the rate of demand growth too!


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