The reality of growing climate change threats due to carbon and greenhouse gas emissions is beyond frightening. Fortunately, things aren’t entirely grim.
Solar energy production is one of the answers to the problem. It’s clean, sustainable, and could debilitate our reliance on fossil fuels.
In this article, you’ll learn some of the most vital up-to-date stats on solar energy and fossil fuels.
Solar Energy vs Fossil Fuels Statistics
Although wind and solar power use have increased noticeably in recent years, as of 2018, they still account for less than 4% of the total energy consumption in America. As far as we know, natural gas, oil, and coal have been the primary sources of energy used.
In 2018, fossil fuels in the US met around 80% of the energy requirements, down from 84% a decade earlier. Moreover, between 2000 and 2008, natural gas consumption increased, coal use went from 22.9% to 13.1%, while oil use remained within the range of 35%–40%.
In 2020, just around 12% of the energy consumption in the US relied on renewable energy.
Solar energy consumption accounted for only approximately 11% of that share. Therefore, we can easily conclude solar energy growth still has a long way to go to reach a satisfactory level. Luckily, this growth is undeniably happening, with more and more people realizing that solar energy is more cost-effective and safer in the long run.
In 2020, the percentage of solar power used in the US to provide electricity was cca. 2.3%.
(EIA) (Our World in Data)
Furthermore, hydropower plants were responsible for around 7.3% of the entire electricity generation in the States, whereas wind energy accounted for 8.4%. On a global level, solar energy provided barely over 2% of total electricity in 2019.
The percentage of energy from fossil fuels in the US dropped to 80% in 2019.
Back in 1966, the share of total energy consumption in the States derived from fossil fuels was 93%. Moreover, the overall quantity of consumed fossil fuels decreased since 2007, when it peaked at 86 quads. Since then, coal usage has dropped by about 11 quads.
According to stats on solar energy production by country, China is the leader in the solar energy industry.
Furthermore, the States come in second, especially considering they’ve achieved a 42% average annual growth rate in the past decade. Japan’s installed solar power capacity ranks third, followed by Germany and India.
Cost of Renewable Energy vs Fossil Fuels
Here are some quick facts on renewable energy and fossil fuel costs to keep in mind.
Going solar saves money long-term, as solar energy vs fossil fuels cost statistics indicate.
Although expensive to set up, a solar energy system is simple to maintain and more cost-effective in the long run. Namely, solar energy costs range between 3 cents and 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to 5–17 cents in fossil fuel energy production.
Also, solar panels can last you up to 35 years and they can significantly raise the value of your property.
Between 2010 and 2017, the cost of solar energy dropped by 73%.
The cost of fossil fuel consumption is increasing consistently as a result of expensive mining and storage depletion. According to data, the main drivers of cost reduction could be technological advancements and large international bases of project developers.
Overall, fossil fuels come with an efficiency rate of up to 40%, but with the side-effects of unfathomable CO2 emissions utterly detrimental to the environment. By contrast, global solar energy production is more environmentally friendly and renewable.
Hopefully, we’ll all experience the benefits of sustainable energy in the near future.