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Technology Drives a Power Transition

2020 was the first year in which renewable wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass and waste power provided the entirety of growth in global power generation

U.S. Oil Industry Prioritizes Output Over Debt
Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg

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Last year was an unusual one for the global electricity sector. Despite massive and in many cases near-immediate changes in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, global power generation fell only two-tenths of a percent for all of 2020. Coal-fired power generation fell 3% year on year; gas-fired power fell 1%, and nuclear power declined 3%. Wind, solar, and hydropower all grew, however, and the result is something new for the power sector.