Sunday, 21 April 2024
    Good and bad news on climate

    Good and bad news on climate

    Even the most optimistic renewable energy champions confess to being shocked by how quickly the world has built and deployed clean energy over the past year. The scope of the achievement is difficult to exaggerate, WA Today reports.

    China alone, in just the first four months of this year, for example, deployed 71 gigawatts of solar power capacity. Which is to say, notes the energy analyst Tim Buckley, that in one quarter of one year China built, in solar alone, as much energy capacity as has been created in the entire history of Australia’s National Energy Market.

    Buckley points to a chart published in recent weeks by the International Energy Agency to try to quantify the extraordinary recent surge in renewables.

    It shows that in 2021, the world had installed just 29 per cent of the solar manufacturing capacity that the IEA predicted it would need to have in place by 2030 to put it on a path to net zero. By early last year, that figure had leapt to 40 per cent. By year’s end announced developments bought the figure to 103 per cent. By the end of the first quarter of this year, the IEA estimated we had 165 per cent of the solar manufacturing capacity needed to put us on a net zero path by 2030.

    The same chart shows a leap in the amount of battery manufacturing capacity needed to store all that new energy has jumped from 6 per cent of what is needed for a net zero path, to 97 per cent.

    Buckley believes this to be evidence that 2023 will be a watershed year for a world more used to failing to meet clean energy and climate targets than smashing them out of the park.

    “This is a chart that absolutely gives me hope,” he says. “I think when we look back on 2023 it will prove to be the transformational year, one where the world built clean energy investment and manufacturing capacity at such a significant scale that we actually will now have the solutions to be deployed, at the scale required to meet the challenge.”

    The IEA, which has a long history of conservative estimates of clean energy capacity, has published a string of data lending weight to such an analysis recently.

    In its World Energy Investment Report, published last month, the IEA showed that for the first time in history investment in solar this year would outstrip investment in oil.


    Finally, some seriously good news on climate. And some not so good (WA Today)


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