Renewable energy equipment set for record years: IEA

Wind turbines and solar panels in Kayseri, Turkey.

temizyurek | E + | Getty Images

According to the International Energy Agency, the world plans to add about 290 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity this year, and a Paris-based organization expects to “set a new record for new installations” in 2021. increase.

The IEA’s Renewable Energy Market Report, released Wednesday, predicts that the Earth’s renewable energy capacity will jump to more than 4,800 GW by 2026, an increase of more than 60% compared to 2020 levels.

Capacity refers to the maximum amount of energy that a facility can produce, not necessarily.

According to the IEA, China will be a major driver of renewable energy capacity growth over the next few years, followed by Europe, the United States and India.

In the big picture, the IEA said renewable energy is expected to account for “almost 95% of the world’s electricity capacity growth by 2026.”

The report states, “Because the stronger policy support and ambitious climate targets announced for COP26 exceed the current record commodity prices that have increased the cost of building new wind and solar installations. We have revised our forecasts for years. “

Photovoltaic power generation refers to photovoltaic power generation, which is a method of directly converting light from the sun into electricity.

Fatih Birol, Managing Director of the IEA, said the addition of record renewable energy in 2021 is “another sign that a new world energy economy is emerging.”

“The soaring commodity and energy prices we see today pose new challenges for the renewable energy industry, but rising fossil fuel prices also make renewable energy more competitive.” Mr. Virol said.

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The numbers in the headlines of Wednesday’s report look promising, but many headwinds could hurt this sector in the future.

The IEA report acknowledges this and states that renewables face “various policy uncertainties and implementation challenges.” These included issues related to everything from permitting and financing to grid integration and social acceptance.

“Current rising commodity prices are putting upward pressure on investment costs, but rising raw material availability and electricity prices in some markets will further increase wind and solar manufacturers in the short term. It poses a challenge, “said the IEA.

Nevertheless, the impact of “unstable commodity prices on demand” appears to be limited, and the high prices of fossil fuels have made both solar and wind more competitive.

When it comes to Net Zero goals, the situation is probably even more difficult.

Renewable energy capacity additions are moving in the direction of “growing faster than ever in the next five years,” but this is not enough to meet the IEA’s net zero emissions scenario by 2050.

Even the IEA’s “accelerated incident”, in which the government addresses regulatory, policy and implementation issues, may not be sufficient.

“The increase in annual capacity under the 2021-2026 IEA Net Zero scenario needs to be 80% faster than if it were accelerated. This is not only for the government to tackle policy and implementation challenges, but also for ambition. It means that we need to increase, “the report said. ..

This cool tone reflects a previous statement from the IEA. In October, he claimed that clean energy advances remained. “It’s too late to sustainably reduce global emissions towards net zero.”

The IEA’s Global Energy Outlook puts a heavy burden on the energy system as “a rapid but uneven economic recovery from last year’s Covid recession” as an indication of how much work needs to be done. I explained that. This caused “a sharp rise in prices in the natural gas, coal and electricity markets.”

“Because of all the advances being made by renewables and electric vehicles, coal and oil use will be significantly restored in 2021,” the report continued. “Mainly for this reason, it also sees the second-largest annual increase in CO2 emissions in history.”

Renewable energy equipment set for record years: IEA

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