There’s a surge of optimism thanks to the cost reduction in renewable energy adoption, electric vehicles projecting to surpass two-thirds of global car sales by 2030 due to dropping prices, and the increasing commitment of the corporate world to reach clean energy targets
By Carlos Roa
As the world grapples with the need for climate action, 2023 emerges as a year of hope. It has been marked by significant strides in renewable energy adoption and corporate commitment to sustainability.
Recent data and reports highlight a paradigm shift toward a greener future, showcasing encouraging advancements in the fight against climate change.
Renewable Energy Costs Plummet
One of the most pivotal breakthroughs in the battle against climate change has been the drastic reduction in renewable energy costs. Over the past decade, we have witnessed a staggering plummet, tearing down a significant obstacle that hindered widespread deployment.
Data from BloombergNEF (BNEF) showcases an astonishing decline. Over the first six months of 2023, the costs of new-build offshore wind and storage projects fell by a respective 2% and 12% and the global benchmark costs for onshore wind were down 6% between June 2022 and June 2023.
BNEF’s analysis shows that the global benchmark levelized cost of electricity, or LCOE, for offshore wind is now on par with coal, the cheapest since BNEF started capturing project data in 2009.
These statistics underscore a monumental shift, making renewable energy increasingly competitive against traditional fossil fuels.
Electric Vehicle Tipping Point
In addition to renewable energy, the electric vehicle (EV) sector is poised for a groundbreaking tipping point. According to RMI, EVs will surpass two-thirds of global car sales by 2030. This will happen as early as 2024 in Europe, 2025 in China, 2026 in the US, and 2027 in India.
The purchase price of battery electric vehicles is expected to dip below that of their petrol or diesel counterparts. This forecast heralds a pivotal moment likely to spur mass adoption of cleaner transportation options.
Corporate Commitment to Climate Goals
The corporate landscape is undergoing a deep transformation, with an increasing number of Fortune 500 companies championing climate and clean energy targets.
According to a collaborative report by WWF, Calvert Investments, CDP, and Ceres, nearly half—48%—of Fortune 500 companies now boast at least one climate or clean energy goal. This marks a notable 5% surge from a previous report in 2014.
Leading the charge, the Fortune 100 companies are setting the precedent, with a striking 63% having established one or more clean energy objectives. What’s more, even among the smallest 100 companies in the Fortune 500, there has been a remarkable upswing in goal-setting, with 44% now embracing targets across various categories—a significant 19-percentage point increase from the 2014 report.
This is an optimistic picture for the planet’s future. It underscores a collective resolve among governments, businesses, and consumers to embrace sustainability and combat the climate crisis, marking a turning point in the journey toward a greener, more sustainable world.