Renewable electricity capacity additions rose to 340 gigawatts (GW), their largest ever deployment. As a result, renewables now account for 30% of global electricity generation. Investment in clean energy reached a record USD 1.6 trillion in 2022, an increase of almost 15% from 2021, demonstrating continued confidence in energy transitions even in an uncertain economic climate.
Rapid progress of key clean energy technologies shows the new energy economy is emerging faster than many think. But momentum in solar, EVs and heat pumps needs to expand quickly across more countries and to other parts of the energy system to move the world closer to net zero by 2050, according to the IEA’s latest evaluation of global progress.
The transition to clean energy is occurring at different speeds across regions and sectors, however. For example, nearly 95% of global electric car sales in 2022 took place in China, the United States and Europe. Stronger international cooperation is needed to spread progress on electric cars and other key technologies to all regions, particularly emerging and developing economies. Electric car sales reached a record high of more than 10 million in 2022, a nearly tenfold increase in just five years.
Policy is advancing in many regions. Earlier this year, for example, Indonesia became the first country in Southeast Asia to establish a legal and regulatory framework for carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and Namibia released a hydrogen strategy in late 2022. The world’s largest battery manufacturer announced it would begin production of sodium-ion electric vehicles batteries, an alternative battery chemistry that can help reduce reliance on in-demand critical minerals.
While there is no scarcity of reserves for energy transition minerals, global capabilities for mining and refining them are limited. Supply disruptions could impact the speed of the energy transition in the short to medium term, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) warns. Critical materials examines the geopolitical risks and opportunities linked to a growing demand for materials in the coming years and calls for a holistic approach to diversify supply chains.
While the dependency and supply dynamics fundamentally differ from fossil fuels, mining and processing of critical materials is geographically concentrated, with a few countries and few major companies playing a dominant role. External shocks, resource nationalism, export restrictions, mineral cartels, instability, and market manipulation could therefore increase the risks of supply shortages, IRENA said.
The International Exhibition for Renewable Energy and Electric Vehicles (RENWEX-2023) once again proved its relevance in the establishment of the renewable energy industry in this country, introducing users to the latest technological trends, samples of products from leading domestic and foreign manufacturers. The professional dialogue between representatives of the authorities, business and the expert community helped to exchange views with colleagues and find answers to many topical issues, conduct business negotiations and conclude lucrative contracts. This year’s RENWEX brought together the best developers of renewable energy and electric transport technologies. Compared to 2019, the first year, RENWEX has more than doubled in size.