The International Energy Agency on Tuesday laid out how clean energy is booming in the face of the coronavirus crisis, revealing that auctioned renewable capacity from January to October was a record-breaking 15% higher than the same period previous year.
The IEA's main case scenario recorded a record-breaking 198 gigawatt increase in renewable capacity this year, mainly a result of developments in China and the USA rushing to take advantage of incentives that expire at the end of 2020.
This is part of a new "Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) Integration and Planning Study" launched by the World Bank asking Pakistan to "quickly implement a major scale-up of solar and wind generation" to achieve a share of at least 30 per cent of total capacity by 2030. This is due to the commissioning of delayed projects in markets where construction and supply chains were disrupted due to COVID-19, the IEA said, with prompt government measures in key markets such as the United States, India and some European countries having allowed developers to complete projects after policy or auction deadlines. Global energy demand is set to decline 5% - but long-term contracts, priority access to the grid and continuous installation of new plants are all underpinning strong growth in renewable electricity.
"Renewable power is defying the difficulties caused by the pandemic, showing robust growth while other fuels struggle", said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director.
Subsidies have also played a role and the IEA report said policymakers need to take steps to maintain the momentum as the expiration of incentives could lead to a decline in 2022.More news: Marvel's 'WandaVision' to debut on Disney
"In 2025, renewables are set to become the largest source of electricity generation worldwide, ending coal's five decades as the top power provider", said Dr. Birol.
The findings of the report reveals global renewable energy investment increased between 2013 and 2018, reaching its peak at $351 billion (£264bn) in 2017. By then, these technologies (solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass ...) will contribute one out of every three kilowatts consumed on a global scale.
India is expected to be the largest contributor to the renewables upswing in 2021, with the country's annual additions doubling from 2020.
The IEA's renewables report, released on Tuesday, pointed out that the Covid-19 crisis has compromised the financial viability of distribution companies (discoms). Total wind and solar photovoltaic capacity are on course to surpass natural gas in 2023 and coal in 2024.
"Renewables are resilient to the COVID crisis but not to policy uncertainties", says the IEA's Birol. Low demand was experienced in the United Kingdom during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, however it is has since largely recovered.More news: Carlo Ancelotti left disappointed by Everton's spirit against Manchester United
The report called for public money committed for fossil fuels to help economies recover from the COVID-19 crisis to have green conditions attached to it, in which governments support more sustainable areas such as health, social support and clean energy. While solar deployment could continue to climb in 2022, wider renewables capacity additions are expected to fall somewhat in that year as a result of a looming policy gap.
Renewables capacity additions will grow 7% this year.
Wind and hydropower additions are forecast to experience the most growth this year, with solar PV relatively stable year-on-year, the IEA said, standing at around 107GW in comparison to last year's 108GW.
By that time, renewables are expected to supply one-third of the world's electricity, with a total capacity twice the size of China's current power capacity.More news: Will Smith Shares ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Reunion Trailer