Renewables to fuel a third of electricity use in five years

Renewables use expands far more slowly in transport, including biofuels and electric vehicles charged with clean energy. Picture: John Devlin
Renewables use expands far more slowly in transport, including biofuels and electric vehicles charged with clean energy. Picture: John Devlin
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Renewables will provide almost a third of the world’s electricity in five years’ time, a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said.

The share of energy used across power, heating and transport that comes from renewables will rise by a fifth over five years to 12.4 per cent in 2023, with progress speeding up compared to the previous five years.

That puts renewables on track to account for 18 per cent of energy by 2040, not fast enough to help the world limit global warming to 1.5C to 2C above pre-industrial levels, which would need to see 28 per cent of energy from the clean tech.

Renewables use expands far more slowly in transport, including biofuels and electric vehicles charged with clean energy, and heating, where burning plant or waste based “bioenergy” or using heat pumps can warm buildings and water, than in electricity. That is because of weaker policy support and additional barriers to deployment in those areas, the IEA report said. The report has also described “bioenergy”, using biological material such as wood pellets, as the “overlooked giant”