IEA World Energy Outlook 2023 reports solar & EV strength

The energy transition is not a question of if, but how soon says Prateek Bumb, Carbon Clean CTO — but in vain if it doesn’t receive the necessary support

The energy world remains fragile but has effective ways to improve energy security and tackle emissions — this is the headline from The World Energy Outlook 2023, The International Energy Agency’s flagship annual report. 

Fifty years after the IEA was founded, the report explores how structural shifts in economies and energy use are shifting the way that the world meets rising demand for energy in a year of geopolitical tensions and fragile energy markets.

Published each year since 1998, its objective data and dispassionate analysis provide critical insights into global energy supply and demand in different scenarios and the implications for energy security, climate change goals and economic development.

“Today’s IEA report outlines the role of clean technology needed by 2030. I agree that the clean energy transition is no longer a question of if, but how soon. Innovators, entrepreneurs, corporates, and financiers have got us to a point where we can seriously start to speak about technology’s role in facilitating the energy transition,” says Prateek Bumb, CTO and Co-Founder of Carbon Clean.

“All of this will be in vain however if industry doesn’t receive the support needed to have a meaningful impact. Carbon capture is critical, but we must move faster to reach the required one gigatonne capture capacity by 2030.

“Governments have a key role to play in providing policy support that enables a collaborative environment between financiers, hard-to-abate operators, and clean tech companies. We’re moving in the right direction, but the planet cannot afford complacency.”


The energy transition in action

Whilst the energy crisis has eased, it certainly hasn’t settled, and the report warns that the risk of further disruption is ever present.

Fossil fuel prices are down from their 2022 peaks, but markets are tense and volatile, with stubborn inflation, higher borrowing costs and elevated debt levels affecting energy investing.


 

Against this complex backdrop, the emergence of a new clean energy economy, led by solar PV and electric vehicles (EVs), provides hope for the way forward, and the economic case for mature clean energy technologies is strong. 

The rise of renewable energy is undeniable: 

  • Investment in clean energy has risen by 40% since 2020
  • In 2020, one in 25 cars sold was electric; in 2023, this is now one in 5
  • More than 500 gigawatts (GW) of renewable generation capacity are set to be added in 2023 – a new record. 
  • More than US$1 billion a day is being spent on solar deployment
  • Manufacturing capacity for key components of a clean energy system, including solar PV modules and EV batteries, is expanding fast

 

What does the future hold for energy? 

As companies continue to develop and enact sustainability strategy, the conversation around net-zero strategy gains volume. Both companies and governments are turning their attention to renewable energy sources as the IEA outlines that the energy sector is the primary cause of the polluted air ingested by over 90% of the world’s population, and linked to more than 6 million premature deaths a year. 

The global average surface temperature is currently around 1.2 °C above pre‑industrial levels, and visible through extreme weather, rising temperatures and rising sea levels.

The IEA has concluded that a pathway to limiting global warming to 1.5 °C is very difficult – but remains open.

 

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