The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published the report “World Energy Outlook 2022”. He expects the energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to accelerate the global energy transition.

From pv magazine Germany

Photovoltaic and wind energy are the most important way to reduce emissions in the electricity sector, the IEA said in its new “World Energy Forecast 2022” the report Their share in electricity production will increase from 10% in 2021 to 40% in 2030 and reach 70% in 2050, according to the agency.

In 2021, solar energy provided more than 3% of the world’s electricity production. Annual capacity additions reached 150 GW, making 2021 another record year. Solar panel prices have fallen by 80% over the past decade thanks to economies of scale and continuous innovation throughout the supply chain. As a result, photovoltaics have become the most affordable power generation technology in many parts of the world. The IEA expects annual growth to more than quadruple to 650 GW in 2030.

By then, annual solar and wind installations in the United States will have doubled from today’s levels, thanks in part to the Inflationary Reduction Act (IRA). The new targets also encourage a massive build-up of clean energy in China, with the country’s coal and oil consumption set to peak by the end of this decade. Accelerated renewable energy deployment and efficiency gains in the European Union mean EU demand for gas and oil will fall by 20% and coal consumption by 50% this decade, according to the report.

The average selling price of solar panels rose for the first time in 2021 – by about 20% compared to 2020 – due to higher freight and commodity costs, particularly for polysilicon. While module prices remained high in the first half of 2022, the IEA said continued innovation, further improvements in materials and energy efficiency will drive costs down further.

According to the IEA, the energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could accelerate the transition to a more sustainable energy system. Although fossil fuel use will peak this decade, it will decline over the long term. The IEA predicts that by 2030, more than $2 trillion will be invested annually in climate-neutral technologies through programs such as IRA, REPower EU and others in Japan, South Korea and China. This corresponds to an increase of more than 50% compared to today. However, this will still fall short of the 1.5 degree target, which would require $4 trillion in investment by 2030.

“Energy markets and energy policy have been changed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and not just temporarily, but for decades to come,” said Fatih Birol, Director General of the IEA. “Even under today’s political conditions, the energy world is changing dramatically before our eyes. The responses of governments around the world promise to make this a historic and definitive turning point towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system.”

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