IEA: Renewable energy will overtake coal as the largest source of electricity by 2025

On January 28, the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released a report on China’s renewable energy outlook in 2020.Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency has released its Renewable Energy Report 2020.

Since 2016, the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission has jointly published an annual report on China’s Renewable Energy Outlook for the Danish Energy Agency.This is the fifth release of the China Renewable Energy Outlook Report.

The International Energy Agency expects new PV installations to hit a record high in 2022.As renewable energy installations continue to grow, the combined installed capacity of wind and photovoltaic power will surpass that of natural gas by 2023 and coal by 2024.Renewable energy will overtake coal as the largest source of electricity by 2025.Drived by China, the US and Europe, wind power generation is expected to grow by 80%.Coupled with rapidly falling costs, new offshore capacity will more than double and development centres will shift to Asia and the US.

The IEA believes investor demand for renewable energy will remain strong in 2020, despite the new pandemic, particularly in countries where supportive policies provide transparent and predictable returns.

In addition, driven by the improvement of competitiveness, PV industry chain prices have broken records.Thanks to new policies in the United States and China and the development of rooftop PV, photovoltaic power generation could grow even faster from 2022.

Ren Yuzhi, deputy director of the new energy department of the National Energy Administration, said at the report’s release: “China will add 120 million kilowatts of new wind and photovoltaic power generation capacity in 2020, achieving a historic breakthrough, while the utilization rate of wind, photovoltaic and hydropower will reach 95 percent.The rapid development of renewable energy, represented by wind power, photovoltaic and hydropower, has made a positive contribution to China’s energy transformation.”

According to the 2020 China Renewable Energy Outlook Report, in order to achieve the Paris Agreement target of limiting temperature change to 2 degrees.The proportion of non-fossil energy in China will continue to grow rapidly in the future, reaching 25% in the 14th Five-Year Plan period, 34% in the 15th Five-Year Plan period and 42% in the 16th Five-Year Plan period.By 2050, China’s share of non-fossil energy will rise to 78%, coal consumption will fall by 90% compared to 2019, and carbon dioxide emissions will fall by 76% compared to 2019.

By 2050, wind power will account for 38.5 per cent of China’s energy consumption, followed by solar power at 21.5 per cent, followed by natural gas at 9.8 per cent and hydro at 9 per cent.The costs of the energy transition are more in the short and medium term, including investment in renewable energy, grid flexibility, etc.”In the long term, the cost of the power system can be reduced by about 20 percent, and the cost structure will change a lot,” said Zhao Yongqiang, director of the Renewable Energy Center at the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The IEA also said China would account for 40 per cent of all renewable capacity growth between 2020 and 2025, and 80 per cent of global photovoltaic capacity.As for policy support for China’s development of renewable energy, IEA believes that the 14th Five-Year Plan will be the key for China to further accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and will also help China accelerate the achievement of the “3060” target.