A new report shows encouraging progress in shifting the world’s electricity production to renewables—crucial to blunting the worst impacts of climate change.

The report, from the UK-based think tank Ember, says renewables generated a record 30 percent of the world’s electricity last year, thanks to the rapid proliferation of solar and wind. That’s welcome news because the planet won’t stop getting hotter until we stop burning coal and fossil gas to produce electricity.

“The world is now at a turning point where solar and wind not only slow emissions growth, but actually start to push fossil generation into decline,” the report says.

It’s remarkable progress because global demand for electricity keeps increasing, meaning renewables have to grow even faster to capture a bigger slice of an ever-expanding pie. And part of what’s driving the increasing demand is also good news for curbing climate change: Electric vehicles are supplanting internal combustion engines, and old-timey gas heaters are giving way to modern heat pumps.

Overall, the report says the expansion in renewables was nearly enough to notch a decline in the power sector’s greenhouse gas emissions last year, but for one unfortunate break: Hydropower hit a five-year low, owing to droughts in China and several other places.

Still, the trend is clear. Solar has become the cheapest electricity in history, with wind not far behind, and technologies for energy storage keep improving.

“A permanent decline in fossil fuel use in the power sector at a global level is now inevitable,” the report says.

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