The topic of renewables is dominating the conversation surrounding energy. We need to transition to eco-friendly power to stave off the warming climate and decrease the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Though we are making good progress on renewables, we are not transitioning fast enough according to the International Energy Agency.
The IEA recently published a report that determined though renewable energy is the second largest source of electricity, their use needs to accelerate to achieve necessary climate, air quality, and energy access goals. This report makes a market analysis and forecast from 2019 to 2024, with renewable energy and their technologies at the forefront. The IEA report provides global trends and developments for renewable energy in the electricity, heat, and transport sectors.
Containing an in-depth look at distributed solar PV, which is set to more than double in capacity within the next five years, this analysis accounts for almost half of all the solar PV growth and assesses the current state of distributed solar PV and maps out its large growth potential in the coming years.
Solar PV Dominates
The capacity of renewable is set to expand by 50 percent between 2019 and 2024, and it is led by solar PV. This increase is equivalent to the total installed power capacity of the United States currently. According to the site MoneyPug, which is known as an energy comparison platform, while solar accounts for almost 60 percent of expected growth, onshore wind represents one quarter of renewables. In addition, hydropower is the third largest although its growth slows. It still accounts for one-tenth of the total increase in renewable capacity while offshore wind contributes 4 percent of this increase with its forecast capacity set to triple in the next five years.
The increase in offshore wind for example is stimulated by competitive auctions in the European Union and expanding markets in both China and the US. Bioenergy grows as much as offshore wind during this time, with the greatest expansions in China, India, and the EU. China accounts for around 40 percent of global renewable capacity expansion over the forecast period. Their forecast is even higher than last year due to improved system integration, lower curtailment rates, and enhanced competitiveness of both solar PV and onshore wind.
An optimize outlook for the EU results from higher planned renewables and auction volumes. It’s faster distributed solar PV growth in member states will help meet renewable targets. Meanwhile, in the United States wind and solar developers and trying to complete projects before federal tax incentives end. Corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) and state-level policies also contribute to growth.
Coal & Fossil Fuels
To accomplish our most basic climate goals, the report states that we need to transition out of coal and fossil fuels faster than the pace we are now. This shift towards clean energy has been significant, even in the United States where coal once dominated. Instead power plants are favoring solar, wind, and natural gas to coal. The US is expected to consumer less coal next year than at any point since 1978 according to the forecasts released earlier this month by the US Energy Information Administration.
Coals was once the leading fuel source in the United States. It has been replaced by natural gas in recent years, and renewables are set to take the number spot. It is only a matter of time. In the rest of the world, however, coal is king. Analyses show that this is not expected to change in the near future.
Many countries are quickly adopting solar and wind, but the IEA said in its report that coal will likely remain the largest power source globally when they’re forecast ends in 2024. The agency predicated that coal will generate about 34 percent of the planet’s electricity in that year, which is down nearly 40 percent from 2018.
However you look at it, the renewable energy growth is good but it is not enough to mitigate the harmful effects occurring in our atmosphere. There is too much carbon in the atmosphere and we need to take significant steps to change this, or there will large consequences. As eco-friendly energy continues to expand, we will be healing our planet and avoid that nastiest effects of the changing climate.