It’s a development that speaks to a “transformation of global power markets,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. China, for instance — the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and greatest consumer of coal in the world — has made notable strides in shifting its energy landscape in recent years. While coal is still the nation’s dominant power source, reports suggest China’s consumption of coal hasn’t grown since 2013 and may even have declined in 2015. In the meantime, the country has become a world leader in the addition of renewables.
That said, renewable energy sources still account for only about 23 percent of the electricity produced worldwide, the report notes. The agency predicts that this share will increase to 28 percent by 2021, making renewables the fastest-growing source of electricity generation in the world.