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    War triggers 40% increase in the rate of renewables installation in Europe

    June 1, 2023 - CE Noticias Financieras


      The widespread feeling that the war has unleashed a veritable renewable fever across Europe is beginning to crystallize in figures. On Thursday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported a 40% increase in the growth rate of green energy - led by solar photovoltaic and, to a lesser extent, wind power - in 2023 and 2024 compared to its pre-war projections. This is good news both in terms of reducing the consumption of natural gas for electricity generation, one of the main concerns of the EU-27 after cutting ties with Moscow, and in terms of cost for users: European consumers have saved, according to their calculations, 100 billion euros between 2021 and 2023 by displacing fossil fuels.

      Read moreUkraine war update, live.

      "The [energy] crisis unleashed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine has accelerated the deployment of renewables in the European Union, driving the urgent reduction of dependence on Russian gas," note technicians at the IEA, the energy arm of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Had this acceleration in the rate of commissioning of new renewable installations not occurred, the price of electricity on the wholesale market would have been - according to the Agency's calculations - 8% higher in 2022.

      The very strong upward revision in its forecasts for new renewable installations responds, above all, to the "political measures" taken by the majority of countries in the bloc. By technology, they say, solar is "the main reason" for this unprecedented adjustment: almost three-quarters of the increase is due to the pull of photovoltaics. An upturn that has to do, they say, both with the generalized rise in the price of electricity, "which makes it more attractive from a financial point of view," and with "growing support in key markets, such as Germany, Italy and the Netherlands." "Renewables are at the forefront of Europe's response to the energy crisis," reads the update to its sector report.

      Global phenomenon

      Although the European momentum is particularly important, the green energy boom is a global phenomenon. IEA estimates point to growth of one-third this year, driven by high fossil fuel prices - both gas and coal are used, to a large extent, to generate electricity. A momentum that will continue next year: 2024 will draw the curtain, according to the Agency, with an installed capacity of 4,500 gigawatts (GW), the equivalent of the combined generating capacity of the United States and China. The latter country is key: the Asian giant "continues to consolidate its leadership position, with 55% of the renewable capacity that the world will add? this year and next.

      More informationSánchez Galán rules out a turnaround in Spanish energy policy after the July elections.

      "Solar and wind are leading the rapid expansion of the world's new energy economy. This year, the world will add a record amount of renewables to electricity systems, more than the total capacity of Germany and Spain combined," notes Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA. "Achieving further growth, however, means addressing some key challenges: policies need to adapt to changing market conditions, and we need to upgrade and expand electricity grids to ensure we can make the most of the huge potential of solar and wind power." His speech is in line with what has been expressed in recent days by the European Commission, which has asked Spain to reinforce its grid to accommodate all the new renewable power expected in the coming years.

      The other major challenge facing this accelerated take-off is the supply of key components for the installation of photovoltaic and wind power. Here, however, the IEA sees greater peace of mind than in recent times, with solar panel production capacity more than doubling between now and 2024, with China, the US, India and Europe leading the way. "In light of these trends, by 2030 the world will have sufficient capacity to comfortably meet the projected level of PV demand, even in the net zero emissions scenario in 2050?, the paper reads. In the case of wind, the Paris-based agency foresees a 70% annual increase in wind turbine manufacturing capacity.

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