Wind at sea or on land, solar ... the year 2021 saw an unprecedented deployment of renewable electricity capacities in the world, a pace however insufficient to put the planet on the path of carbon neutrality, according to the annual report "Renewables" of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
This year is expected to break last year's record, with 290 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity installed, and despite the increased cost of some components and transportation, the report released Wednesday noted.
Read also Wind turbines: the energy crisis undermines the strategy of all renewable
According to the IEA, which has revised its projections upwards, 4,800 GW of installations should be available by 2026, i.e. + 60% compared to 2020 and the equivalent of the current electrical capacity of nuclear and fossil fuels. combined.
Photovoltaics should provide more than 50% of this growth, and offshore wind power will see its capacities triple.
All regions are concerned, China in the lead (1,200 GW of wind and solar capacity expected from 2026, four years earlier than the official target, estimates the IEA.) India should see the growth of the sector double compared to at the rate of 2015-2020.
However, if the prices of components and materials remained as high until the end of 2022, the cost of investments in wind could return to their pre-2015 level, and, in solar, three years of falling prices would be wiped out. , is alarmed by the organization, which advises countries on their energy policies. “
The current high prices of materials pose new challenges for the renewables sector, but the high prices of fossil fuels also make renewables even more competitive,
” underlines the director of the Agency, Fatih Birol.
For the IEA, States could facilitate their deployment via coherent and monitored measures, by launching the adaptation of electricity networks, by tackling the lack of social acceptance ... It is also necessary to tackle the difficulties of investment in developing countries, calls the Agency.
Read also "Serious warning" from the IEA: the energy transition is "too slow"
As for dams, bio-energies or geothermal energy, which are nevertheless essential, their expansion represents only 11% of the growth of renewables by 2026, due in particular to a lack of support and remuneration.
Thus, ultimately, this expected growth in renewables will not be enough to put the world on the path to carbon neutrality in 2050, necessary to keep warming below 1.5 ° C compared to the pre-industrial period.
For this, the rate of new renewable capacity installed by 2026 would have to double compared to IEA forecasts, and the growth in demand for biofuels would have to be four times greater.