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Renewable energy can be a game changer to cut down on power sector emissions

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered an unprecedented global energy crisis, the world has turned to other energy sources, besides oil and gas, to meet demand. 

Renewable energy has seen a promising increase in recent years, with a growth of more than 10% by 2022, according to the IEA, resulting in a slight reduction in global CO2 output from the power sector as a whole. Last year, the world added a record 295 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity. 

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that 90% of the world’s electricity will likely come from renewable energy sources by 2050. 

The chart below shows which types of renewable energy are projected to come from renewable energy sources. Ants are expected to grow the fastest in the wild over the next few years. 

 

 

renewable energy
All renewable energy sources are set for growth by 2025. Image: IEA

To limit global warming to 1.5°C, emissions must fall by 5% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050, according to the UN.How do you ramp up the adoption of clean energy technologies in the race to get there? 

According to IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, "Cutting red tape, increasing permitting rates, and providing the right incentives for faster renewable energy deployment are some of the most important actions governments can take. implemented to address today's energy security and market challenges, while protecting our ability to meet international climate goals. 

In addition to helping the world achieve its sustainability goals, the falling cost of renewables has also been a driver of their growth. In 2020, renewable energy will be the cheapest source of energy in the world. 

IRENA reports that the global cost of solar and wind has fallen over the past decade and that onshore wind is 68% cheaper than it was 10 years ago. Meanwhile, utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity costs have fallen by 85%. 

 

The chart below shows the reduction in cost per kWh over this period. 

 

 

cost of energy
Solar, onshore wind and offshore wind costs have all fallen over the past decade. Image: IRENA

To accelerate further, industrial decarbonization will require advanced technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, green hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuels, and green ammonia, among others. other. 

The Funding Initiative for a Networkless Future, a partnership between the World Economic Forum and knowledge partner Oliver Wyman, was launched in June 2020 to promote and accelerate funding for these game-changing technologies. 

While IRENA points out that cheaper renewable energy and new technologies offer developed and developing countries the opportunity to phase out coal, 2022 has seen coal use increase due to the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis that followed. 

According to the IEA, coal production is currently responsible for about a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Financial Times reported that average daily consumption at coal-fired power plants in China was 15% higher than a year ago in the first two weeks of August, at 8.16 million tonnes. 
Several European countries have also delayed plans to phase out coal due to supply problems following the war in Ukraine, and emissions are expected to increase by 3% in the region, according to the IEA. 

However, major economies such as China and India, formerly heavily dependent on coal, have increased their solar capacity. This is thanks to large-scale projects such as Bhadla Solar Park, India, the world’s largest solar farm, and Huaneng Power International, China, the largest floating photovoltaic project. 

The IEA also reports that China will overtake Europe by the end of 2022 to become the market with the largest total offshore wind capacity in the world. 

Meanwhile, Europe has ramped up its rooftop solar installations. Earlier this year, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a mandate to provide rooftop solar power for commercial and public buildings by 2027 and for residential buildings by 2029. 

While the war in Ukraine clearly complicates the green energy transition, “the development of Birol said the energy market in recent months-especially in Europe-has demonstrated once again renewable energy’s essential role in improving energy security, in addition to its established effectiveness in reducing emissions.”

Source: Wef

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