Sourcing Renewables - December 8, 2022
Renewables Predicted to Surpass Coal Thanks to Global Energy Crisis
Global renewable energy capacity installation is expected to nearly double in the next five years and surpass coal due to the ongoing energy crisis.
The new Renewables 2022 report from the International Energy Agency found that the concerns around energy security prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have led to countries significantly ramping up their solar and wind energy production, while simultaneously reducing their use of imported fossil fuels. Global renewable power capacity is expected to grow by 2,400 GW between 2022 and 2027, meaning a doubling of the amount of capacity over the next five years as was installed in the previous five years.
This increase would mean adding as much renewable power in the next five years as was installed globally in the past 20 years.
Global solar capacity is expected to nearly triple between 2022 and 2027, becoming the largest source of power capacity in the world through utility-scale installations. Residential and commercial rooftop installations are also expected to soar.
The new prediction is 30% higher than the capacity predicted a year ago. If this prediction comes true, renewables will account for over 90% of global electricity expansion over the next five years and become the largest source of global electricity by 2025.
The report also found that this rate of installation could be accelerated even more if EU member states implemented a number of policies that would include streamlining and reducing permitting timelines, improving auction designs and providing better visibility on auction schedules.
In China, the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan could allow the country to account for almost half of new global renewable power capacity installed between 2022 and 2027. The US is also primed to become a leader in renewables expansion under the Inflation Reduction Act.
The report identifies as well a case in which renewable capacity grows an additional 25% in addition to the main forecast. However, this growth would be dependent on clearing various regulatory and permitting challenges and quicker implementation of renewable electricity in heating and transport.
“Renewables were already expanding quickly, but the global energy crisis has kicked them into an extraordinary new phase of even faster growth as countries seek to capitalise on their energy security benefits. The world is set to add as much renewable power in the next 5 years as it did in the previous 20 years,” Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, said in a statement. “This is a clear example of how the current energy crisis can be a historic turning point towards a cleaner and more secure energy system. Renewables’ continued acceleration is critical to help keep the door open to limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.”