The latest International Energy Agency (IEA) report, 'Renewables 2023,' has confirmed solar power's leading position in steering the global energy transition. The findings reveal that solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity accounted for an astounding three-quarters of the 510 GW of renewable energy added globally in 2023, propelling the world closer to achieving the ambitious COP28 goal of tripling global renewable capacity by 2030.
Graph: © IEA
The report highlights an unprecedented surge in solar PV capacity, marking a significant stride towards COP28 objectives. The world's capacity to generate renewable electricity is expanding at an unprecedented rate, with renewable energy capacity additions growing by 50% in 2023 – a growth trajectory not seen in the past three decades.
Under existing policies and market conditions, the report projects that global renewable power capacity will reach 7,300 GW over the 2023-2028 period. Solar PV and wind are slated to account for 95% of this expansion, surpassing coal to become the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025. Despite this remarkable growth, more substantial efforts are needed to meet the COP28 commitment of tripling capacity by 2030.
Graph: © IEA
The report underscores the affordability of onshore wind and solar PV, which are now more cost-effective than existing fossil fuel plants in most countries. However, it also highlights challenges, particularly the global macroeconomic environment. The crucial challenge emphasised, is the need for the rapid scaling-up of financing and deployment of renewables in emerging and developing economies, where many are at risk of being left behind in the
evolving energy landscape.
Looking ahead, the report outlines expectations for a significant increase in solar PV and onshore wind deployment through 2028 in key regions, including the United States, the European Union, India, and Brazil. Prices for solar PV modules saw a remarkable decline of nearly 50% in 2023, and with the forecasted global manufacturing capacity reaching 1,100 GW by the end of 2024, the industry is poised for continued cost reductions and rapid deployment.