PARIS, France: The International Energy Agency (IEA) says the world added 50 percent more renewable capacity in 2023 than 2022 and forecasts the next five years will see even fastest growth.
Almost 510 gigawatts (GW) were added to the global grid with solar PV accounting for 75 percent. China commissioned as much solar in 2023 as the entire world the previous year, while its wind power capacity rose 66 percent year-on-year.
The new IEA update suggests existing policies and market conditions will grow the global renewable power capacity to 7,300 GW over the 2023-28 period.
Solar PV and wind will account for 95 percent of the expansion as renewables overtake coal to become the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025.
Despite record increases in renewable energy capacity in Europe, the U.S. and Brazil, “It’s not enough yet to reach the COP28 goal of tripling renewables, but we’re moving closer – and governments have the tools needed to close the gap,” explained IEA executive director Fatih Birol.
“Onshore wind and solar PV are cheaper today than new fossil fuel plants almost everywhere and cheaper than existing fossil fuel plants in most countries,” he added.
“For me, the most important challenge for the international community is rapidly scaling up financing and deployment of renewables in most emerging and developing economies, many of which are being left behind in the new energy economy. Success in meeting the tripling goal will hinge on this.”
At COP28 last December more than 130 national governments, including the European Union, agreed to work together to triple the world’s installed renewable energy capacity to at least 11,000 GW by 2030.
Birol said this goal is dependent on tripling renewables, doubling energy efficiency, cutting methane emissions, transitioning away from fossil fuels, and scaling up financing for emerging and developing economies.
HØVIK, Norway: Classification society DNV says 298 ships with a power alternative to fossil fuel were ordered in 2023 – an 8.0 percent increase year-on-year. They included 138 orders for methanol, up from 38 in 2022, 130 for LNG and 11 powered by ammonia.
Faced with increasing pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including stricter targets set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in July 2023, companies placed orders for 106 methanol-power vessels followed by 13 bulk carriers and 10 car carriers.
Last year saw a drop in LNG-powered orders to 130 vessels compared to 222 in 2022. However DNV notes the number rises when only considering newbuilds, as many methanol orders were for retrofits.
Containership operators ordered 48 LNG-powered vessels followed by 40 from car carriers and 30 by tanker operators. With only five orders, hydrogen was a less popular choice in 2023 compared to 18 the previous year according to DNV’s Alternative Fuels Insight (AFI) platform.
“As we navigate towards a greener maritime future, the growing demand for alternative-fueled vessels speaks volumes,” commented DNV CEO Maritime Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen. “These orders send pivotal signals to fuel providers and other important partners on shipping’s decarbonisation journey. While it is clear that the maritime fuel technology transition is already underway, we now need to ensure the fuels powering these engines become available.”
DNV developed its AFI platform to support the shipping industry’s transition to what it describes as a cleaner, greener future. The database provides a complete overview of developments of alternative fuels and technologies, covering both investments on ships, in bunkering infrastructure and fuel production facilities.
The company has also identified solutions than can lead to the complete decarbonisation of maritime shipping including:
• Logistics – speed reduction, vessel utilisation, vessel size and alternative routes.
• Hydrodynamics – hull coating, hull optimisation, air lubrication and cleaning.
• Machinery – efficiency improvements, waste-heat recovery, engine de-rating, batter hybridization and fuel cells.
• Energy – LNG, LPG, biofuels, electrification, methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, wind power and nuclear.
• After treatment – carbon capture and storage.
“It is however crucial to emphasise that focusing solely on fuels may divert our focus from achieving a significant impact in this decade,” added Ørbeck-Nilssen. “What is required are concrete measures that actively lower emissions. Energy efficiency initiatives can yield decarbonisation outcomes both now and leading up to 2030.”
COPENHAGEN: Ørsted has begun construction of two carbon capture (CCS) facilities designed to remove and store 430,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually from two biomass-sourced power stations.
The woodchip-fired Asnæs power station in Kalundborg and a straw-fired unit at Avedøre in Greater Copenhagen represent Denmark's first full-scale carbon capture project under a 20-year contract from the Danish Energy Agency.
Ørsted will capture 150,000 tonnes of biogenic CO2 per year from the straw-fired unit at Avedøre and initially transported by truck to Asnæs until a shared pipeline is built across across Zealand.
The straw-fired unit at Avedøre converts locally sourced straw into electricity and district heating. The straw is a by-product of agriculture.
In addition, the company will capture 280,000 tonnes from the wood chip-fired unit at Asnæs that will also function as a CO2 hub, handling and shipping biogenic carbon from both the Avedøre and Asnæs power plants to the Northern Lights storage reservoir in the Norwegian part of the North Sea.
The wood chip-fired unit at Asnæs converts wood chips, primarily sourced from the Baltics, into electricity, district heating, and process steam for the local industry. The wood chips come from sustainably managed production forests and consist of surplus wood from sawmills or residues from trimming or crooked trees.
"To combat climate change, we must implement various types of green solutions, and this project is one of the initiatives that will play a pivotal role in our efforts,” commented Ole Thomsen, SVP and head of Ørsted's Bioenergy business. “We look forward to collaborating with our partners, the municipalities, and our stakeholders to ensure the success of this project and achieve our shared climate goals."
Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, renewable hydrogen and green fuels facilities, and bioenergy plants.