Achieving COP28 renewable targets

According to the IEA’s forecasts, renewables will overtake coal to become the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world’s increasing capacity to generate renewable energy is giving it a real chance of achieving the COP28 target of tripling renewable capacity by 2030

According the organisation’s annual market report, Renewables 2023, the amount of renewable energy capacity added to energy systems around the world grew by 50% in 2023 to reach nearly 510GW. Solar represented the lion’s share of growth here, accounting for three-quarters of additions worldwide with the largest growth taking place in China (although Europe, US and Brazil also hit all-time highs for increases in renewable energy capacity). 

The IEA continues that, under existing policies and market conditions, global renewable power capacity is expected to grow to 7,300GW over the 2023-2028 period with solar and wind power accounting for 95% of this expansion. If this proves correct, renewables will overtake coal to become the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025. 

However, while this shows that the world is truly committing to the energy transition, the IEA suggests that this will still not be enough to triple capacity by 2030. 

IEA executive director, Fatih Birol, commented, “The new IEA report shows that under current policies and market conditions, global renewable capacity is already on course to increase by two-and-a-half times by 2030. It’s not enough yet to reach the COP28 goal of tripling renewables, but we’re moving closer – and governments have the tools needed to close the gap. Onshore wind and solar PV are cheaper today than new fossil fuel plants almost everywhere and cheaper than existing fossil fuel plants in most countries. There are still some big hurdles to overcome, including the difficult global macroeconomic environment. 

“For me, the most important challenge for the international community is rapidly scaling up financing and deployment of renewables in most emerging and developing economies, many of which are being left behind in the new energy economy. Success in meeting the tripling goal will hinge on this.”

Elsewhere, KPMG has highlighted the significant investment opportunity in renewable energy boasted by Africa in a new report on climate investing. Click here to discover more.