The IEA’s latest World Energy Outlook forecasts renewables will supply almost half of the global power mix by 2030, but urges much stronger policies are needed to achieve the 1.5°C target.
The latest edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO) describes an energy system in 2030 in which clean technologies play a significantly greater role than today.
This includes almost 10 times as many electric cars on the road worldwide, solar PV generating more electricity than the entire US power system does today, renewables’ share of the global electricity mix nearing 50%, up from around 30% today, heat pumps and other electric heating systems outselling fossil fuel boilers globally and three times as much investment going into new offshore wind projects than into new coal- and gas-fired power plants.
All of those increases are based only on the current policy settings of governments around the world.
If countries deliver on their national energy and climate pledges on time and in full, clean energy progress would move even faster.
However, even stronger measures would still be needed to keep alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.
“The transition to clean energy is happening worldwide and it’s unstoppable. It’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s just a matter of ‘how soon’ – and the sooner the better for all of us,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.
“Governments, companies and investors need to get behind clean energy transitions rather than hindering them.
The WEO-2023 proposes a global strategy for getting the world on track by 2030 that consists of five key pillars, which can also provide the basis for a successful COP28 climate change conference.
These comprise tripling global renewable capacity, doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvements, slashing methane emissions from fossil fuel operations by 75%, innovative, large-scale financing mechanisms to triple clean energy investments in emerging and developing economies; and measures to ensure an orderly decline in the use of fossil fuels, including an end to new approvals of unabated coal-fired power plants.
Birol added: “Every country needs to find its own pathway, but international cooperation is crucial for accelerating clean energy transitions.
“In particular, the speed at which emissions decline will hinge in large part on our ability to finance sustainable solutions to meet rising energy demand from the world’s fast-growing economies.
“This all points to the vital importance of redoubling collaboration and cooperation, not retreating from them.”