Rising electricity prices and the war in Ukraine have accelerated investment in renewable energy, according to a new report, Renewables 2022, from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
They estimate that capacity to produce renewable electricity will increase globally by 2,400 gigawatts through 2027.
This is as much as it has been installed in the last twenty years or as much as China’s total capacity.
In comparison, Norway’s installed capacity is 38.7 GW, According to Energifakta Norge.
The estimate from the International Energy Agency is nearly 30 percent higher than it was in the previous assessment last year.
This is mainly due to the fact that China, the European Union, the United States and India have introduced measures and plans faster than expected in response to rising energy costs.
An estimated 38 percent of renewables will be lost in five years
The International Energy Agency calculates that renewables will overtake coal as the largest source of electricity in 2025.
In 2021, 36 percent of the world’s electricity will come from coal, 23 percent from gas, 28 percent from renewables and about 10 percent from nuclear.
In 2027, renewables will make up the bulk and account for 38 percent of electricity production. The Energy Agency thinks coal will account for just under 30 percent.
The expected increase in the share of renewable energy sources comes from the fact that the rise in energy prices has made renewable sources more attractive from an economic point of view, Writes the International Energy Agency. At the same time, Russia’s war against Ukraine meant that Europe in particular wanted to improve its energy security.
– This is a clear example of how the current energy crisis can be a historic turning point towards a cleaner and safer energy system, says Fatih Birol, CEO of the International Energy Agency, In a press release.
– Continued acceleration of renewable energy is critical to keeping the door open for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, Birol continues.
The sun and wind are getting more
The proportion of electricity that comes from natural gas, oil and nuclear power is expected to decrease in the coming years.
Within renewables, solar and wind are growing the most. These technologies account for 80 percent of the expected increase in renewables.
Growth in other renewables such as hydropower, bioenergy and geothermal energy is expected to be modest.
The numbers apply to electricity production. If the energy used for transportation and heating is also taken into account, the proportion of renewables is lower.
Nuclear power and renewables currently account for more than a third of electricity production, but make up about 16 percent of the total energy mix, According to Our World in Data.
The largest increase in China and the European Union
China is expected to install nearly half of all new renewable energy projected by 2027.
Among other things, the Chinese authorities have set a goal that half of large public buildings and new buildings in industrial parks must have solar cells on the roof. They are planning wind and solar power facilities in the Gobi Desert, among other places.
The International Energy Agency writes in the report that the second largest growing market is the European Union. They expect the speed of development to double in the next five years compared to the previous five years.
Most solar panels are expected to be developed, then wind on land, wind at sea, bioenergy and finally hydropower.
The EU had ambitious goals for developing more renewables before the war in Ukraine, but plans have tightened with REPowerEU. There is a plan to make Europe independent of fossil fuels from Russia “before 2030”, According to the European Commission.
We also expect an increase in the US
For the United States, the International Energy Agency expects capacity to increase by 280 gigawatts over the next five years. That’s a 74 percent increase for the United States and an increase from last year’s estimate.
The additional capacity will come mainly from solar and wind power.
The change is due, among other things, to the Inflation Reduction Act, a law aimed at reducing inflation. Tax exemptions for wind and solar energy projects.
Still a way to reach the 1.5 degree target
– Renewable energy is already expanding rapidly, but the global energy crisis has pushed them into an extraordinary new phase of faster growth as countries seek to exploit their advantages in energy security, says Fatih Birol.
For the world to be on track towards the 1.5 degree target in the Paris Agreement, renewables must produce 61 percent of the world’s electricity by 2030, According to the carbon profile.
Despite the encouraging new estimates, the increase in renewables is not large enough to align with this scenario.
International Energy Agency: « renewable energy sources 2022December 2022.
The article was first published on forcing.
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