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Countries Have Major Opportunity to Triple Renewable Power by 2030, IEA Report Finds

IEA's latest report shows that countries can significantly advance towards the COP28 goal of tripling global renewable energy capacity by 2030 by aligning their Nationally Determined Contributions with existing domestic plans and accelerating implementation.

Saurabh Shukla
Countries Have Major Opportunity to Triple Renewable Power by 2030, IEA Report Finds (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Countries Have Major Opportunity to Triple Renewable Power by 2030, IEA Report Finds (Photo Source: Pixabay)

According to a new analysis from the International Energy Agency (IEA), countries have a significant opportunity in the upcoming months to formulate specific strategies for boosting renewable power, which could help the world reach the COP28 target of doubling global capacity by 2030.

The report, "COP28 Tripling Renewable Capacity Pledge: Tracking Countries’ Ambitions and Identifying Policies to Bridge the Gap," shows that while renewable energy is crucial for meeting international climate objectives, few countries have explicitly set 2030 targets for installed capacity in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. Current NDC commitments total 1,300 gigawatts (GW), merely 12% of the required capacity to meet the COP28 goal.

The IEA's comprehensive analysis, covering nearly 150 countries, indicates that domestic ambitions are significantly higher, amounting to almost 8,000 GW of global installed renewable capacity by 2030. If countries incorporate all existing policies, plans, and estimates into their revised NDCs due next year, they would achieve 70% of the necessary capacity, or 11,000 GW, by 2030. This suggests ample room for aligning NDCs with domestic ambitions, though the report stresses the need for accelerated implementation and heightened ambitions to meet the tripling goal.

"At COP28, nearly 200 countries pledged to triple the world’s renewable power capacity this decade, a critical step to keeping the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C alive," stated IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. "This report shows that the tripling target is ambitious but achievable if governments swiftly convert promises into actionable plans. By meeting the COP28 goals, including tripling renewables and doubling energy efficiency improvements by 2030, countries have a major opportunity to advance towards a secure, affordable, and sustainable energy future. The IEA remains committed to supporting global efforts to achieve this."

The analysis highlights the rapid growth of renewable energy, driven by a significant drop in costs over the past decade and reinforced by government initiatives to build resilient, low-emission energy systems. Since the Paris Agreement 2015, annual renewable capacity additions have tripled, driven by policy support, economies of scale, and technological advancements. These factors have reduced the cost of solar PV and wind power by over 40%, making them competitive with fossil fuels. In 2023, global renewable capacity additions reached nearly 560 GW, a 64% increase from 2022, with China leading the expansion.

Despite these advancements, challenges persist, including lengthy permit processes, insufficient investment in grid infrastructure, the need for efficient integration of variable renewables, and high financing costs, especially in emerging economies.

The report recommends targeted actions to overcome these hurdles, such as enhancing long-term policy visibility, supporting projects in their early stages, and mitigating financial risks related to price, inflation, and exchange rates.

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