Worldwide renewable power additions are expected to jump by a third this year as higher fossil fuel prices and energy security worries drive the expansion of solar PVA and wind energy, the International Energy Agency said.
Global renewables additions are set to soar by 107GW to more than 440GW this year, and growth is set to continue next year to reach a total green power capacity of 4.5 terawatts, the agency’s Renewable Energy Market Update estimated. That is equal to the total electricity output of China and the US combined.
The dynamic expansion is taking place in Europe in response to the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while new policy measures are also seen helping drive significant increases in the US and India over the next two years. China is consolidating its leading position and likely to account for nearly 55% of global additions this year and next.
“This year, the world is set to add a record-breaking amount of renewables to electricity systems – more than the total power capacity of Germany and Spain combined,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.
“The global energy crisis has shown renewables are critical for making energy supplies not just cleaner but also more secure and affordable – and governments are responding with efforts to deploy them faster.
“But achieving stronger growth means addressing some key challenges. Policies need to adapt to changing market conditions, and we need to upgrade and expand power grids to ensure we can take full advantage of solar and wind’s huge potential.”
PV additions will account for two thirds of the increase this year and are expected to keep growing in 2024 as well, the report said, with the growth of large-scale solar plants being accompanied by the expansion of smaller systems, such as rooftop solar.
Manufacturing capacity in PV is expected to more than double to 1TW by 2024, led by China and a growing supply diversification also in the US, India and Europe.
Wind energy installations are predicted to rebound sharply this year by almost 70% compared to 2022 after the completion of projects that had been delayed by Covid-19 restrictions in China and supply chain issues in Europe and the US.
The IEA stressed, however, that further growth next year will depend on greater government support to address challenges in permitting and auction design.
The forecast for renewables additions in Europe has been revised upwards by 40% from before Russia attacked Ukraine, which led many countries to boost solar and wind uptake to reduce imports of Russian gas, the IEA noted.