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Clean energy grew twice as fast as conventional energy over 2019-2023: IEA report

The global energy transition is speeding up through the increased deployment of clean energy, driven in large part by policy support and declining costs, with major gains taking place in China and advanced economies, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) recent Clean Energy Market Monitor reveals.

The report found that clean energy investment grew nearly 50% from 2019 to 2023, reaching US$1.8 trillion, which greatly outpaced conventional energy by a ratio of two to one.

“The deployment of five key clean energy technologies – solar PV, wind power, nuclear power, electric cars and heat pumps – from 2019 to 2023 avoids annual fossil fuel energy demand of around 25 [exajoules]. This is equivalent to 5% of total global fossil fuel demand in all sectors in 2023, or almost the combined total energy demand of Japan and Korea from all sources last year,” the report said,

But while this sizeable increase in clean energy is considered to be a positive contributor to the global energy transition, the IEA noted that much of the renewable energy growth has been strongly concentrated in China and other advanced economies.

Within the wind sector, the report noted that global wind capacity additions jumped almost 60% in 2023 to break the 2020 record, with China accounting for more than 60% of global wind expansion. Wind additions in the European Union – which increased by less than 10% –were held up by many challenges, including rising equipment costs, inflation, and supply chain constraints.

On the other hand, in emerging and developing markets, nuclear energy and electric mobility have reported gains, accounting for three-quarters of all new nuclear capacity brought online during the 2019-2023 period and electrification of two- and three-wheel vehicles and city buses.

While 2023 saw some historic milestones in the hydrogen sector – with the global installed capacity of hydrogen water electrolysers exceeding 1 GW – hydrogen’s share of the global energy mix is still far below the annual multi-gigawatt additions required to keep climate goals within reach.

To read the full report, click here.

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