The International Energy Agency’s latest annual report on renewables forecasts that as much as an extra 1.3 terawatts (TW) of clean energy will be installed by 2023. The agency predicts that global renewable energy capacity will grow by 1 terawatt, driven by a boom in solar installations and more accommodating government policy, provided that the concerned authorities continue to invest in renewable sources of energy.
Energy from solar, wind and hydro will continue to outpace natural gas and coal over the next five years, IEA said. Hydropower is forecast to increase 12 percent over the next five years and will still be the largest renewable electricity generation source by 2023. Wind output is expected to increase its share by two-thirds to 7 percent. Solar power is seen tripling, overtaking bioenergy to become the third-largest source of renewable energy.
China will be responsible for 41 percent of global renewable growth, adding 438 gigawatts of clean energy to become the largest consumer of green energy in the world, overtaking the EU, the IEA said. Almost half of Brazil’s total power consumption will come from renewables by 2023, in large part down to hydro and bioenergy.
The IEA focused on “modern bioenergy,” saying it is the “blind spot” of the renewables world even though it accounted for half of all clean energy consumed in 2017. Most modern bioenergy, which includes liquid fuels produced from plants, gas from anaerobic digestion and wood pellets, is used to heat buildings in industry. It excludes traditional bioenergy, which comes from biomass such as wood and animal waste.
Only bioenergy that reduces life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions while avoiding social, environmental, and economic impacts should have a future role in a clean energy system, the IEA said. Global carbon dioxide emissions from energy use climbed 1.6 percent in 2017 after three years of little change.