IEA Market Report: Renewable Energy Development Must Accelerate
21 January 2019
Posted by: Sarah Ridgeon
The International Energy Agency (IEA) have published their Market Report into renewable energy, analysing the market as well as providing a forecast from 2018 to 2023. The Report provides global trends and developments for renewable energy in the electricity, heat and transport sectors.
The Report finds that the share of renewables in meeting global energy demand is expected to grow by one-fifth in the next five years to reach 12.4% in 2023.
However, to meet long-term climate and other sustainability goals, renewable energy development in the heat, electricity and transport sectors must accelerate. Should progress continue at the pace currently forecast, the share of renewables in final energy consumption would be roughly 18% by 2040 – significantly below the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario’s benchmark of 28%.
The Report also declared modern bioenergy as the overlooked giant within renewable energy. Modern bioenergy (excluding the traditional use of biomass) was responsible for half of all renewable energy consumed in 2017 – it provided four times the contribution of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind combined. Bioenergy is the largest source of growth in renewable consumption over the period 2018 to 2023.
Going forward, the Report warns that only bioenergy that reduces lifecycle GHG emissions while avoiding unacceptable social, environmental and economic impacts has a future role in decarbonising the energy system. Robust sustainability governance and enforcement must therefore be a central pillar of any bioenergy support policy.
Other key findings include:
- Hydropower remains the largest renewable source, meeting 16% of global electricity demand by 2023, followed by wind (6%), solar PV (4%), and bioenergy (3%).
- The Report looked at three sectors: heat, electricity and transport. During the next five years, renewables will have the fastest growth in the electricity sector, providing almost 30% of power demand in 2023, up from 24% in 2017. Renewables in transport have the lowest contribution of all three sectors, with their share growing only minimally from 3.4% in 2017 to 3.8% in 2023.
- Brazil has the greenest energy mix, and China leads absolute growth. Of the world’s largest energy consumers, Brazil employs the highest share of renewables by far – almost 45% of total final energy consumption in 2023.
To find out more about the report's findings, please visit the IEA website