New IEA Report Ramps Up 5-Year Growth Forecast For Clean Energy

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has long been criticized for its renewable energy forecasts being (far) too low. Now, it appears the IEA is finally moving to correct its many years of underestimating clean energy scaling potential. Thus, a few days ago, IEA’s spokeperson said that his agency “has significantly raised its estimates for the deployment of renewables compared with previous years reflecting major changes in energy policies around the world, such as the adoption of the Paris Agreement.” And today, the IEA is out with its new Medium-Term Renewable Market Report, which may mark a “turning point” in clean energy growth forecasts, due to “rapid decline in costs and strong political support in key countries, such as the U.S. and China.”

With that, here are a few highlights from the IEA’s press release, and from IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol’s presentation on the new forecast.

  • Last year marked a turning point for renewables. Led by wind and solar, renewables represented more than half the new power capacity around the world, reaching a record 153 Gigawatt (GW), 15% more than the previous year.”
  • “The latest edition of the IEA’s Medium-Term Renewable Market Report now sees renewables growing 13% more between 2015 and 2021 than it did in last year’s forecast, due mostly to stronger policy backing in the United States, China, India and Mexico.”
  • “Over the forecast period, costs are expected to drop by a quarter in solar PV and 15 percent for onshore wind…competitive tenders may result in even faster cost reductions.”
  • “Over the next five years, renewables will remain the fastest-growing source of electricity generation, with their share growing to 28% in 2021 from 23% in 2015.”
  • “Renewables are expected to cover more than 60% of the increase in world electricity generation over the medium term, rapidly closing the gap with coal.”
  • “Generation from renewables is expected to exceed 7600 TWh by 2021 — equivalent to the total electricity generation of the United States and the European Union put together today.
  • Key drivers behind clean power growth include: the Paris “COP21” climate agreement; local air pollution and energy security concerns; energy investment dollars increasingly flowing to renewables.
  • “Reducing policy uncertainty and overcoming financing & grid integration challenges remain key to achieve 2°C target.”



 





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