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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.
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