(China’s) rapid growth of renewables, supported by rising nuclear generation, is set to displace global coal-fired generation, which is forecast to fall by an average of 1.7% annually through 2026. This follows a 1.6% increase in coal-fired output in 2023 amid droughts in India and China that reduced hydropower output and increased coal-fired generation, more than offsetting strong declines in coal-fired generation in the United States and the European Union.
While it is true that China is building more coal generation capacity, they’re using it less. Globally, this can also be seen in that all of the world’s electricity demand growth is thought to be met by new clean (nuclear, solar, wind, hydro) electricity generation. This is also occurring while global electricity demand is set to grow by an average 3.4% annually through 2026.
The report, from the IEA, also says that emissions from electricity – on a global level – are starting to fall. This happens as renewables are expanding their presence from 30% of all electricity, to 37% – with the IEA saying this growth is being largely supported by “ever cheaper solar PV”.