Global Push for Renewable Energy Triples Capacity, But Targets Still Unofficial

Governments worldwide are witnessing a surge in adoption, with capacity expected to triple by 2030, signaling a crucial moment to cement commitments to the Paris Agreement targets.

In 2023 alone, global renewable capacity additions soared to nearly 560 gigawatts (GW), marking an unprecedented 64% year-over-year increase. China emerged as the primary contributor to this growth.

Despite this remarkable progress, a newly released report from the (IEA) titled “ Tripling Renewable Capacity Pledge: Tracking countries' ambitions and identifying policies to bridge the gap” highlights a significant gap in official targets for installed capacity under existing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement.

Of the 194 NDCs submitted, only 14 outline explicit targets for total renewable power capacity by 2030. Present commitments amount to just 1,300 GW, a mere 12% of the global tripling goal set forth in Dubai.

However, the IEA's country-by-country analysis reveals more ambitious domestic aspirations, with nearly 150 countries collectively aiming for almost 8,000 GW of global installed renewable capacity by 2030.

Dr. Katye Altieri, an analyst at global energy think tank , underscores the importance of revising NDCs to reflect actual ambition, stating, “The latest year of record growth brings the tripling goal within reach and should give leaders the confidence to upgrade their targets further in their NDCs.”

Despite the significant strides, challenges persist, including project permit delays, insufficient grid investment, and the urgent need for efficient integration of variable renewables.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol emphasizes the pivotal role of governments in translating promises into actionable plans, stating, “At COP28, nearly 200 countries pledged to triple the world's renewable power capacity this decade, which is one of the critical actions to keep alive hopes of limiting global warming to 1.5C. This report makes clear that the tripling target is ambitious but achievable – though only if governments quickly turn promises into plans of action.”

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