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- The year is heading to add 320 gigawatts of renewable electricity generation capacity during 2022
- Renewable electricity capacity this year may be 80% higher than 2020 levels
- Solar PV could account for 60% of new additions in 2022
- Ending routine and speeding up permits while providing incentives are the most prominent factors in the deployment of renewable energy
- Solar PV and wind costs are the main obstacles to renewable electricity
The International Energy Agency expects renewables projects to hit a new record this year, despite various headwinds.
A report on developments in the renewable energy market issued by the International Energy Agency today, Wednesday, showed that it is likely to add 320 gigawatts of new capacity to generate clean electricity during 2022.
The forecast comes despite headwinds from rising costs and supply chain bottlenecks, according to a Renewable Energy Agency report.
The new capacity added to produce electricity through renewables this year is likely to be more than 8% higher than the capacity added last year.
The global capacity expected to be added this year – amounting to 320 gigawatts – is close to meeting the total demand for electricity in Germany or equal to the total electricity generation through natural gas in the European Union, according to the report.
Solar PV will account for about 60% of the growth in renewable electricity globally this year, followed by wind and hydropower.
By contrast, new additions of offshore wind capacity globally are likely to decline by about 40% through 2022, after last year’s subsidy from the huge jump in China as developers in the country rush to meet the deadline for support.
However, global additions of renewable electricity capacity is still on track to be 80% above pandemic year (2020) levels.
Record additions in renewable electricity capacity this year are expected to be led by China, the European Union and Latin America.
In contrast, the outlook in the United States is clouded by uncertainty about new incentives for wind and solar energy as well as trade actions against solar PV imports from China and Southeast Asia.
New and fast policies
The Paris-based agency sees growth in new capacity from renewable electricity to remain stable through 2023 unless new and rapid policies are implemented.
The International Energy Agency attributed its forecast to the fact that the expansion of solar PV cannot fully compensate for the decline in electricity produced through hydropower and fixed additions from wind energy.
According to the report, the expected additions of electricity generation capacity through clean energy during 2022 and 2023 were revised upwards by 8% compared to last December’s estimates.
This positive adjustment is due to strong policy support in China, the European Union and Latin America, and despite the downward revision of expectations in the United States.
The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, recommends the importance of eliminating red tape and speeding up the issuance of the necessary permits, while providing the appropriate incentives, in order to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.
He added that these are the most important measures that governments can take to address the current market and energy security difficulties while maintaining access to international climate goals.
“Developments in the energy market in recent months – especially in Europe – have once again demonstrated the essential role of renewable energy sources in improving energy security, in addition to the apparent effectiveness in reducing emissions,” he says.
Obstacles on the way
Solar PV and wind costs over the current and next two years are expected to remain above pre-pandemic levels; Because of the high prices of goods and freight, to be the most prominent obstacles to the growth of electricity generation through clean energy sources.
However, the competitiveness of clean energy sources is improving, given sharp increases in coal and natural gas prices, notes the International Energy Agency.
Renewable electricity in 2021
The International Energy Agency confirms that new capacity added to generate electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources rose to a record level during 2021.
Countries around the world added about 295 gigawatts of new capacity to generate electricity through clean energy sources over the past year, an increase of 6% year on year, according to the International Energy Agency.
These standard additions come as supply chain difficulties, construction delays and higher raw material prices have been overcome.
Annual additions to renewable electricity capacity in the European Union have jumped by about 30% over the past year, reaching 36 gigawatts, surpassing the record 35 gigawatts a decade ago.
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