Renewables to become world’s largest source of electricity by 2025: IEA

Some good news for the planet and billions inhabiting it, as the International Energy Agency (IEA) says renewables will become the biggest source of power generation by 2025 by overtaking coal.

In this connection, the IEA expects renewables to account for nearly 40 percent of worldwide electricity output in 2027, coinciding with a fall in the share of coal, natural gas and nuclear generation.

According to a report Renewables 2022 released on Tuesday, the global energy crisis is driving a sharp acceleration in installations of renewable power, with total capacity growth worldwide set to almost double in the next five years.

It will help keeping alive the possibility of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C, says the report. “Global renewable power capacity is now expected to grow by 2 400 gigawatts (GW) over the 2022-2027 period, an amount equal to the entire power capacity of China today.”

“The first truly global energy crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has sparked unprecedented momentum for renewables,” the IEA said.

The analysis comes at a time of huge disruption within global energy markets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

The Kremlin was the biggest supplier of both natural gas and petroleum oils to the EU in 2021, according to Eurostat. However, gas exports from Russia to the European Union have slid this year, as member states sought to drain the Kremlin’s war chest.

As such, major European economies have been attempting to shore up supplies from alternative sources for the colder months ahead — and beyond.

“Energy security concerns caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have motivated countries to increasingly turn to renewables such as solar and wind to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels, whose prices have spiked dramatically,” the report noted.

Wind and solar electricity

The IEA expects electricity stemming from wind and solar photovoltaic (which converts sunlight directly into electricity) to supply nearly 20 percent of the planet’s power generation in 2027.

“These variable technologies account for 80 percent of global renewable generation increase over the forecast period, which will require additional sources of power system flexibility,” it added.

However, the IEA expects growth in geothermal, bioenergy, hydropower and concentrated solar power to stay “limited despite their critical role in integrating wind and solar PV into global electricity systems.”

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said the global energy crisis had kicked renewables “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,” Birol said.

Cutting human-made carbon dioxide emissions to net-zero by 2050 is seen as crucial when it comes to meeting the 1.5 degrees Celsius target.

Earlier this year, a report from the IEA said clean energy investment could be on course to exceed $2 trillion per year by 2030, an increase of over 50 percent compared to today.


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