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Wind and solar energy is steadily replacing coal

The Verge Thursday, 13 August 2020
Wind and solar energy is steadily replacing coalWind turbines located at the Mehrum coal-fired power station in the Peine district in Germany. In the energy turnaround, energy sources such as coal are to be replaced by more environmentally friendly energy sources from sun and wind. The phase-out of coal is planned by 2038 at the latest. | Photo by Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

Solar and wind power as a share of global electricity has doubled since 2015, according to a new report by climate-focused think tank Ember. It now makes up about a tenth of the global power mix, reaching close to the same amount of energy generated by nuclear power plants.

Those carbon-free sources of power are steadily replacing coal. Coal generation dropped a record-breaking 8.3 percent in the first half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. The rise of wind and solar contributed to 30 percent of that drop in coal, according to Ember, while the majority of the decline was due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing down power demand.

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