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Renewables forecast to overhaul natural gas in 2023 and coal the following year

Renewables are forecast to overhaul natural gas in terms of global power generating capacity by as soon as 2023 and could overhaul coal by 2024, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

IEA estimates renewable capacity additions should grow 10% next year, driven by initiatives in Europe and India. Global solar PV and wind power is likely to increase by 25% in 2022, the report claimed. Representing 95% of all growth in power generating capacity over the next five years – 60% from solar PV, 30% from wind – renewables should overtake natural gas in 2023, and coal in 2024, the IEA predicted.

While solar and onshore wind are the cheapest ways of adding new capacity, costs are also coming down rapidly for offshore wind. As offshore wind projects move beyond Europe to China and the US, the IEA expects it to account for up to one-fifth of total wind power by 2025.

Research published in late October by RenewableUK shows that the total pipeline of global offshore wind projects has grown by 47% since January – despite the pandemic – making the sector the fastest growing one across all energy segments.

“Covid-19 has put the brakes on virtually everything in the world of energy. Globally, energy demand is set to decline by around 5% this year. Renewable energy, however, has proved remarkably resilient,” Braemar ACM suggested in a note to clients today.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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