Renewables at the beginning of 2025 will be the first source of electricity in the world and solar will overtake coal in five years. The new report on renewables published on December 6 by the International Energy Agency contains news that give hope in the fight against climate change. The energy crisis has created an unprecedented momentum in favor of renewable energy, which is expected to double globally over the next five years.
Solar and wind first source in 2025
In particular, solar and wind will be the first source of electricity by 2025, surpassing coal and helping to keep alive the possibility of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. This is due to the countries’ desire to reduce their dependence on fossil energy especially after the war in Ukraine and the need to reduce energy dependence on Russia. According to the IEA, global renewable energy production to increase by 2,400 gigawatts (GW) between 2022 and 2027: an amount that corresponds to the entire current electricity production in China, a third more than the forecasts of a year ago according to calculations by the Agency. The speed with which governments have pushed more on renewables – according to the report – is particularly evident in Europe, even more motivated to replace Russian gas.
Europe, China, USA and India
it is precisely in Europe that installations will double in the next five years, but more ambitious than expected plans and market reforms have also been approved in China, the United States and India. In particular, theUS Inflation Reduction Act provided new support and long-term visibility for US renewable energy expansion. Large-scale PV and onshore wind are the cheapest options for new electricity generation in most countries around the world.
The photovoltaic boom
Global solar PV capacity is set to nearly triple in 2022-2027, overtaking coal and becoming the largest source of electrical capacity in the world. The report also provides aacceleration of the installation of solar panels on the roofs of homes and commercial activities, which help consumers reduce their energy bills. Global wind capacity nearly doubles over the forecast period, with offshore projects accounting for a fifth of the growth. Together, wind and solar will account for more than 90 percent of the renewable energy capacity that will be added over the next five years. According to the report, there are signs of diversification in global PV supply chains, with new policies in the United States and India expected to boost investment in solar generation up to $25 billion over the period 2022-2027 (but also the Italy has its own supply chain). While China remains the dominant player, its share of global manufacturing capacity could drop from the current 90% to 75% by 2027.
Hopes for the climate
The example of renewables shows that the energy crisis can represent a historic turning point towards a cleaner and more secure global energy system, according to IEA director Faith Birol, who also recalled that this acceleration crucial if we are to have a chance of limiting global warming to +1.5 degrees. But what should governments do to further accelerate by adding an additional 25% of renewable capacity to the headline forecast? In advanced economies, this faster growth would require addressing several regulatory and permitting challenges and faster penetration of renewable electricity in the heating and transportation sectors. In emerging and developing economies, this would mean addressing the political and regulatory uncertainties, weak network infrastructures and lack of access to affordable finance that hinder new projects. Globally, the accelerated scenario requires efforts to solve supply chain problems, expand networks and deploy more flexibility resources to securely handle larger shares of variable renewables. Accelerating the growth of renewables would bring the world closer to a path consistent with achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, which offers an even chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C.