Renewables share in power to reach 30% in 2023 - IEA

Author: Andrew Hill. Licence: Creative Commons

October 9 (Renewables Now) - The share of renewables in global power consumption will increase to almost 30% in 2023 from 24% in 2017, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Renewables 2018 market analysis and forecast report.

During the next five years, renewables are expected to meet more than 70% of electricity generation growth, led by solar photovoltaic (PV), which is forecast to boost its capacity by almost 600 GW over the period and reach 1 TW. Wind capacity is expected to expand by 60%, with offshore wind capacity tripling. By 2023, hydropower will provide 16% of global electricity demand, wind 6%, solar PV 4% and bioenergy 3%.

The use of renewables will expand more slowly in the transport and heat sectors. Over the next five years, the share of renewables in meeting total global energy demand is forecast to grow by one-fifth to 12.4% in 2023.

IEA said that renewables use in the heat, electricity and transport sectors should accelerate to meet long-term climate goals. At the current forecast growth rate, the share of renewables in final energy consumption would be around 18% by 2040, which is significantly below the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario's benchmark of 28%, it added.

The report draws attention to "modern bioenergy," which excludes the traditional use of biomass, projecting that between 2018 and 2023, it will account for the biggest part of growth, 30%, in renewable consumption, because of its use in heat and transport.

Bioenergy, including solid, liquid or gaseous fuels, will remain the main source of renewable energy in 2023, although its share of total renewable energy will fall to 46% from 50% in 2017, due to the accelerating expansion of solar PV and wind in the electricity sector.

"Modern bioenergy is the overlooked giant of the renewable energy field," said IEA's executive director Fatih Birol. "Its share in the world’s total renewables consumption is about 50% today, in other words as much as hydro, wind, solar and all other renewables combined," he added.

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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