Renewable energy hits new records in 2022
The world will set a new record for renewable energy capacity this year, led by solar energy in China and Europe, but growth could lose vigor in 2023, the International Energy Agency She said Wednesday
A record 295 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity was added in 2021 despite supply chain bottlenecks, construction delays and high commodity prices, the IEA said in a report.
An additional 320 gigawatts are expected to be installed this year, equivalent to either Germany’s entire electricity demand or the European Union’s total electricity production from natural gas.
Solar energy will account for 60% of renewable energy growth in 2022, ahead of wind and hydroelectricity, according to the agency, which advises developed nations on energy policy.
“The additional renewable capacity commissioned for 2022 and 2023 has the potential to significantly reduce the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas in the energy sector,” the IEA said.
“However, the actual contribution will depend on the success of parallel energy efficiency measures to keep the region’s energy demand in check.”
The EU has set a target of reducing its heavy reliance on Russian natural gas by two thirds this year following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The developments in the energy market in recent months, especially in Europe, have once again demonstrated the essential role of renewables in improving energy security, as well as their proven effectiveness in reducing emissions,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih. Birol in a note.
He urged governments to cut red tape, speed up the delivery of permits and provide the right incentives for faster roll-out of renewable energy.
The IEA warned that, based on current policies, “global renewable energy growth is set to lose momentum next year”.
“In the absence of stronger policies, the amount of renewable energy capacity added around the world is expected to stabilize in 2023,” the IEA said.
The Paris-based IEA said advances in solar energy are offset by a 40% decline in hydroelectric power expansion and “small changes” in the addition of wind power.
The Norwegian government, however, announced Wednesday plans to install 1,500 offshore wind turbines with a capacity of 30,000 megawatts by 2040, compared to two in the oil-rich nation.
“It is almost equivalent to the electricity we produce today,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said. Almost all of the country’s electricity comes from hydroelectricity.