The year 2023 has witnessed the fastest global growth rate of renewable energy (RE) in over twenty years. As per the latest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), China’s extraordinary acceleration in renewable energy capacity propelled the global growth rate of RE.
The report said, “China’s solar PV (photovoltaic) deployment in 2023 increased by 116%, matching the global total of 2022, while its wind power installations increased by 66% compared to the previous year. The world’s annual additions to renewable electricity generation capacity soared by nearly 50%, reaching approximately 510 gigawatts (GW) – marking the 22nd consecutive year of setting new records in renewable capacity growth.”
It is expected that the next five years will see the fastest growth, but warned the lack of financing for emerging and developing economies is a vital issue.
Noteworthy, during the COP28 more than 100 governments agreed on tripling global capacity to at least 11,000 GW by 2030.
However, China, India, and Indonesia did not join the pledge due to its accompanying anti-coal stance and the more demanding goal of doubling the average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements to 4%.
“Onshore wind and solar PV are cheaper today than new fossil fuel plants almost everywhere and cheaper than existing fossil fuel plants in most countries,” IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said.
“For me, the most important challenge for the international community is rapidly scaling up financing and deployment of renewables in most emerging and developing economies, many of which are being left behind in the new energy economy.”
Under existing policies and market conditions, global renewable power capacity is expected to grow to 7,300 GW by 2028, with renewables overtaking coal to become the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025, according to IEA projection.
“The growth trajectory is about 2.5 times its current level, which is still short of the tripling goal by 2030. The world’s second-biggest economy, China, has a renewable energy capacity to triple the previous five years’ increase of 2,000 GW in the next five years, making up 56% of the global increase,” IEA said.
“From 2023 to 2028, China will add almost four times more renewable capacity than the European Union and five times more than the US, the second and third-largest growth market, noted the report.
IEA forecasts that the world’s renewable “powerhouse” is expected to reach its national 2030 target for wind and solar PV installations up to 1,200 GW this year, which is six years ahead of schedule.
Besides China, the rest of Asia will see renewable capacity grow by 430 GW by 2028, a 73% increase from 2022 levels, with India driving half of the regional growth and ASEAN adding 14%.
The report said that India is projected to add 205 GW by 2028, doubling its 2022 capacity, and is poised to become the third-largest global market for renewables.
Furthermore, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is expected to increase renewable capacity by a combined 63 GW by 2028, IEA said.