The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its Renewables 2023 report, highlighting significant growth and the potential of renewable energy sources worldwide
The rapid growth of Renewables in 2023 gives hope for achieving COP28 Goals
The report indicates that the world has witnessed a significant increase in renewable capacity additions in 2023, primarily driven by China’s photovoltaic solar market. The key points of the report are outlined below.
Rapid Growth in Renewable Capacity
According to the report, global annual additions of renewable capacity increased by almost 50% to reach nearly 510 gigawatts (GW) in 2023, the highest growth rate in the past two decades. This marks the twenty-second consecutive year in which new records have been set in renewable capacity additions. Europe, the United States, and Brazil recorded historic increases in renewable capacity, but China’s growth was particularly extraordinary. In 2023, China installed as much photovoltaic solar energy as the entire world did in 2022, with photovoltaic solar energy accounting for three-quarters of global renewable capacity additions.
Tripling Global Renewable Capacity by 2030
To meet the COP28 goal of tripling global renewable capacity by 2030, the IEA emphasized the importance of policy implementation. The report suggests that governments should focus on five action pillars by 2030, including the goal of tripling renewable energy capacity. owever, based on existing policies and market conditions, global renewable capacity is projected to reach 7,300 GW by 2028, falling short of the tripling goal. Overcoming challenges such as political uncertainty, insufficient investment in network infrastructure, administrative barriers, and financing issues in emerging economies can help close the gap and promote further renewable growth.
Transformation in the Global Energy Mix
The IEA report predicts a transformation in the global energy mix by 2028, with more renewable capacity additions than ever before. Between 2023 and 2028, nearly 3,700 GW of new renewable capacity is expected to come online, primarily driven by favorable policies in over 130 countries. Photovoltaic solar energy and wind energy will account for 95% of this expansion, surpassing hydroelectric, coal, and even nuclear energy. Importantly, at various milestones between 2024 and 2028, renewable energy is expected to surpass other sources in terms of electricity generation, emphasizing the growing importance of renewables in the global energy landscape.
China’s Role as a Renewable Energy Powerhouse
China continues to dominate the global renewable energy scene, representing nearly 60% of the new renewable capacity expected to be operational by 2028. Despite reductions in national subsidies, China is accelerating the deployment of onshore wind and photovoltaic solar energy due to economic attractiveness and favorable political environments. The report predicts that China will achieve its national targets for wind and solar installations by 2030, six years ahead of schedule. China’s contribution is crucial to achieving the global goal of tripling renewable energy, and by the end of the forecast period, almost half of China’s electricity generation will come from renewable sources.
Promising Growth in the United States, the EU, India, and Brazil
The report highlights the positive growth trajectory of onshore wind and photovoltaic solar energy in the United States, the European Union, India, and Brazil. Favorable political environments and continuously improving economic viability of these technologies are driving accelerated additions. In countries like the European Union and Brazil, rooftop photovoltaic solar energy is expected to surpass large-scale installations as consumers seek to reduce electricity bills. The United States has experienced accelerated additions due to the Inflation Reduction Law, despite challenges in the supply chain. In India, accelerated auction programs and improved financial health of electric companies are expected to drive growth.
Closing the Gap and Addressing Challenges
While G20 countries represent almost 90% of global renewable energy capacity, other emerging and developing economies must accelerate new installations to achieve the global goal of tripling renewable energy. The report highlights the need to address four main challenges:
- Political uncertainty
- Insufficient investment in network infrastructure
- Administrative barriers
- Insufficient financing in emerging economies.
By addressing these challenges and implementing existing policies more rapidly, the accelerated case presented in the report shows nearly 21% higher growth in renewables, bringing the world closer to fulfilling the global commitment to tripling renewable energy.