Energy & Environment

International Energy Agency: Renewables will surpass coal by 2025

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OAKLAND, MARYLAND – AUGUST 23: In an aerial view, turbines from the Roth Rock wind farm spin on the spine of Backbone Mountain next to the Mettiki Coal processing plant on August 23, 2022 in Oakland, Maryland. The 50,000 kilowatt Roth Rock project has 20 Nordex N90/2500 turbines and has been operating since 2011. Once Maryland’s largest coal mine, the Mettiki pulled a total of 55 million short tons from the Upper Freeport seam in Garrett County’s southwestern corner between 1983 and 2006, when the mine was closed. Today, the former mine site still washes, separates and processes coal from nearby mines. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Renewable energy will surpass coal as a source of global electricity generation by 2025, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projected in a report Tuesday.

In its annual renewables report, the IEA said the Russian invasion of Ukraine has accelerated the transition and will contribute to it increasing nearly twofold in the next five years. Between now and 2027, the IEA projects, global renewable energy capacity will increase by about 2,400 gigawatts, equivalent to China’s current capacity.

Although nations were already trending toward renewable adoption, the expected growth is 30 percent above what the IEA was projecting a year ago.

The invasion of Ukraine is set to be a particular accelerant for the transition in Europe. The capacity added in European nations from 2022 to 2027 will be double that of the expansion in the previous five years, according to the IEA.

Elsewhere, the three top carbon emitters — China, the U.S. and India — are also set to drive expansion of renewables more than was projected a year ago. In China’s case, the nation’s latest five-year plan calls for development equivalent to nearly half of new capacity over the next five years. The U.S., meanwhile, is set to implement a number of renewable energy initiatives through the Inflation Reduction Act, a year after the prospect of a climate and infrastructure bill seemed doomed in the 50-50 Senate.

“Renewables were already expanding quickly, but the global energy crisis has kicked them into an extraordinary new phase of even faster growth as countries seek to capitalize on their energy security benefits,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement. “The world is set to add as much renewable power in the next five years as it did in the previous 20 years. This is a clear example of how the current energy crisis can be a historic turning point towards a cleaner and more secure energy system.”

Tags Coal International Energy Agency Renewable energy
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