Renewable energy plans out of sync with COP28 goals: IEA.

By Oliver Townsend Jun 7, 2024
IEA Report Highlights Misalignment Between Countries' Renewable Energy Plans and COP28 Goals.jpegOrginal image from:

The latest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights a concerning misalignment between countries’ renewable energy goals and the targets set at COP28. Titled “The COP28 Tripling Renewable Capacity Pledge: Tracking countries’ ambitions and identifying policies to bridge the gap,” the report emphasizes the urgent need for increased action to meet global renewable energy objectives.

The Discrepancy in Renewable Energy Ambitions

According to the IEA report, a mere 14 out of 194 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) have explicit 2030 targets for renewable capacity. These commitments, totaling 1,300 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, fall significantly short of the 11,000 GW required to achieve the tripling objective set at COP28. Notably, China leads this NDC group with a clear target of 1,200 GW of wind and solar energy by the end of the decade.

The Need for Accelerated Deployment

Despite the limited NDC targets, the IEA’s analysis reveals more ambitious domestic aspirations for renewable energy. Nearly 150 countries plan to install approximately 8,000 GW of renewables globally by 2030, covering 70% of the capacity needed to reach the tripling goal. To achieve the 11,000 GW target, the report underscores the necessity for accelerated deployment of renewable energy, especially in regions like the EU, the US, and India. Additionally, efforts in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa need to be ramped up.

Key Recommendations and Insights

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol emphasizes that while the tripling target is ambitious, it is achievable if governments swiftly translate promises into actionable plans. By fulfilling the COP28 goals, including tripling renewables and doubling energy efficiency improvements by 2030, countries can expedite progress towards a more secure, affordable, and sustainable energy system. The report highlights that annual renewable capacity additions have tripled since the Paris Agreement, driven by policy support, economies of scale, and technological advancements. Solar power is projected to become the largest source of installed renewable energy if countries meet their 2030 ambitions.

Challenges and Opportunities

Some key challenges hindering renewable deployment include lengthy permitting processes, inadequate investment in grid infrastructure, the efficient integration of variable renewables, and high financing costs, particularly in emerging economies. The report calls for reduced financing costs to enhance the viability of renewable projects and support their pre-development stages. In April, the IEA stressed the need for a sixfold increase in global energy storage capacity to meet the 2030 renewable energy targets, emphasizing the crucial role of energy storage in bolstering the expansion and reliability of renewable energy sources.

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