2030 1.5°C target: 1TW of new installations per year
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an average of 1TW of new renewable energy projects must be deployed every year to meet the global climate target of 1.5°C by 2030.
In a preview of the Global Energy Transition Outlook 2023, the IRENA said that despite progress in the power sector, the level of renewable energy deployment must increase from about 3 TW today to more than 10 TW by 2030.
Renewable energy deployment levels must increase from about 3TW today to more than 10TW by 2030
Last year, renewables accounted for 40% of global electricity installations and 83% of new electricity added globally. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s 2023 Renewable Energy Capacity Statistics, the total installed capacity of photovoltaics in 2022 reached 192GW, a year-on-year increase of 22%. Renewable energy generation increased by 295GW, an increase of 9.6% year-on-year, meaning that solar power accounted for 65.1% of the global increase in renewable electricity capacity.
However, this level of deployment is limited to certain parts of the world. China, the European Union and the United States accounted for two-thirds of all new projects last year, while developing countries were further left behind.
In 2022, global investment in technologies for the energy transition reached a new record of $1.3 trillion, but IRENA believes that annual investment must more than quadruple, or more than $5 trillion, to remain on the 1.5°C path.
By 2030, cumulative investment must reach $44 trillion, of which transitional technologies account for 80%, or $35 trillion, of the total. Energy efficiency, electrification, grid expansion and flexibility will be priority areas.
“The pursuit of fossil fuels and mitigation measures is necessary, but not enough to shift to an energy system suitable for the dominance of renewables.”
To prioritise the energy transition, the IRENA calls for a systemic change in the amount and type of investment, as “all new investment decisions need to be carefully evaluated”, “thereby simultaneously driving transformation and reducing the risk of stranded assets.”
For example, by 2050, about 41% of planned investments will still target fossil fuels. IRENA said that in order to maintain the 1.5°C target, about $1 trillion of the annual planned fossil fuel investment by 2030 must be spent on transition technologies and infrastructure.
Investment should also be channelled to more countries. Last year, 85% of global renewable energy investments benefited less than half of the world’s population, while Africa accounted for only 1% of new capacity additions in 2022.
The International Renewable Energy Agency says that in some 120 developing countries and emerging markets, there has been little investment in renewable energy development, and this is likely to continue this year.
La Camera “Achieving the energy transition requires stronger international cooperation, including joint efforts to channel more finance to developing countries,” he added. For a fundamental shift in support for developing countries, we must pay more attention to energy access and climate adaptation. “