At COP28, over 100 countries agreed to triple their renewable energy capacity.
Discussions during the Energy and Industry Day at COP28, has led to over 100 countries from around the world agreeing to work towards tripling the capacity of their renewable energy to lower their dependence on fossil fuels. Although there has been a lack of detail regarding any strategies or plans for how this increase in renewable energy capacity will occur. Many experts and scientists are claiming that it can be done successfully if challenges are faced, and solutions are found.
Many renewable energy companies are behind the increase in renewable energy capacity around the world, however many are calling for updated policies and clear, structured plans that will help the agreeing countries to make this possible.
After the announcement at COP28, Anders Opedal, the Chief Executive Officer of Equinor, a Norwegian oil and gas company that is transitioning towards increased exportation of renewable energy, regarding the agreement stated that:
“It is realistic, but there are elements that need to be solved; permitting,
leases, grid connections.”
Under the Paris Agreement, the signing countries agreed that they must keep the global temperature rise to under 1.5ᴼC. Currently scientists, researchers, and experts are warning that we are not going to meet this target if we carry on the way we are. Tripling the capacity for renewable energy usage will be a significant step in the right direction and has the potential to get the world back on track. This is due to the movement away from carbon emitting fossil fuel use towards cleaner renewable energy use.
At the moment, there is not enough renewable energy being harnessed, therefore, there needs to be a significant increase in the use of renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro.
Research carried out by BloombergNEF has predicted that global energy generated through renewable energy sources will reach 9,000 GW by 2030. However, if countries around the world stick to the agreement, they made at COP28, to triple their renewable energy generation this figure, by 2030, will be 20% higher at 11,000GW.
There have been concerns since the announcement at COP28. Many countries are worried that more needs to be done to fix the challenges they will face.
For example, there needs to be an influx of investment and finance into the renewable energy sector, currently, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) around $600 billion was invested into the sector globally in 2022.
There are also concerns that there is a lack of supplies to build the infrastructure needed to accommodate this increase in renewable energy capacity. Also, there is a lack of labour needed to operate and install these renewable energy structures.
Many countries are also needing to reconsider their policies as many find it difficult to obtain permits and regulatory permissions to begin installing a renewable energy structure. Also, there are further issues raised by delays that occur worldwide when trying to connect to national grids.
Francesco La Camera, the Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency has stated his concern that:
“I don’t see clear signs that we are ready to overcome the barriers we have identified.”
In order to reduce the impact of these challenges, to the new COP28 agreement, finance and investment must increase significantly. The IEA have predicted that the $600 billion worth of investment in 2022 needs to double to around $1.2 trillion by 2030 to keep the world on track to reach net zero in 2050.