7 reasons why the future is brighter than we think

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By RockedBuzz 9 Min Read

Here is the new record

Investments in clean energy increased by 15% year-on-year

In 2022, they reached a record of 1.6 trillion dollars,

indicating that confidence in the energy transition remains strong in an uncertain economic environment. The remarkably fast pace of deployment of clean energy technologies such as photovoltaic solar panels and electric vehicles shows what can be achieved with the right ambition and policy action, the IEA points out. meaning.

The most important trends according to the report:

  • New from electric cars more than 10 million units, a record volume, were sold worldwide in 2022. This is the result of a nearly tenfold increase in the last five years; and sales increased by 55% last year alone.
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  • THE renewable electricity generation capacity last year it added 340 GW, which is also the highest value ever, and as a result of which renewable power plants now account for 30% of the total amount of electricity produced in the world.
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  • Among the decisive advances made in the past period is the fact that, based on the announced plans, it now seems for the first time that by 2030 the necessary to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 will be in place battery manufacturing capacity. This is also facilitated by major industrial development strategies such as the US Inflationary Reduction Act (IRA) and the European Union’s Green Deal industrial plan.
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  • THE heat pumps its sales increased by 11% in last year’s record year, and the rate of growth is already close to the average annual growth of 15% considered necessary to achieve the climate goals.
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  • The electrolyzers installed capacity over 20%, while their production capacity increased by over 25% in 2022. Based on the projects currently in the pipeline, the installed capacity could approach 3 GW by the end of 2023, which would represent a more than four-fold increase compared to 2022.
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  • The world economy energy efficiency overall, it increased by more than twice that of the previous year, which is also an extremely favorable development after the relatively weak and insufficient improvement in terms of climate goals in recent years.
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  • Another important development, according to the report, is that in 2022, compared to the previous year, 40% more, 8 GW new nuclear power plant capacity created.
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Are we on track?

The report examines more than 50 different indicators – sectors, technologies, infrastructure – and evaluates the It has made progress towards net zero emissions by 2050. The authors of the analysis classify each component into three categories, which indicate that the given area is, according to the current trend, “is it on track?“, requires further efforts or is not at all on the path that, according to the IEA, is necessary to achieve the climate goal.

This year’s report includes solar photovoltaic technology for the first time in the “it’s on track” category, as thanks to the progress achieved here, the current trends in this area correspond to the milestones set on the way to the net zero climate goal. In total, solar power plants operating worldwide produced almost 1,300 TWh of electricity in 2022, 26% more than in 2021, which

represents the largest absolute increase in production of all renewable technologies.

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THE solar panel production capacities also shows massive growth supported by broad government support, especially in China, the United States and India. If all announced projects are realized,

global solar panel production capacity will more than double in the next five years,

and exceeds the level considered necessary by 2030 to achieve the 2050 climate goal.

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It has also developed greatly in this respect in the past year global construction industryso it is no longer the worst, but the ‘further efforts are needed‘ category. Governments around the world are introducing increasingly strict building energy regulations and standards, and the use of efficient renewable technologies in buildings such as heat pumps is accelerating. In the last year, they have improved a lot worldwide energy efficiency policies too.

Several technologies also achieved important breakthroughs in innovation in 2022:

  • The IEA highlights that the world’s largest battery manufacturer (CATL, which also built a factory in Debrecen – ed.) has announced the start of production of sodium-ion batteries, which can help reduce dependence on critical minerals.
  • At the beginning of the year, the operation of two large-scale demonstration projects of the so-called solid oxide electrolyzers (SOEL) also started, which produces hydrogen with high efficiency and low carbon dioxide emissions.
  • In addition, positive steps were taken, for example the innovative, pure aluminum refiner and cement producer also in the field of technology development, the importance of which is increased by the fact that both industries are among the sectors that are more difficult to decarbonize.
  • Furthermore, the carbon dioxide capture and storage technology as a milestone in early 2023, the first shipment of liquid CO2 from Belgium to Denmark, which was placed in a geological repository under the North Sea, took place.

We need more

The speed of development shows a wide spread in different regions and sectors. For example, nearly 95% of global EV sales are in China, the United States and Europe, while nearly 75% of planned and operational carbon capture and storage (CCS) capacity is in North America and Europe. According to the IEA, it is also necessary to strengthen international cooperation so that progress in the field of electric cars and other key technologies extends to all regions, including emerging and developing economies.

The rise of new technologies is the fastest in those segments of the energy system where cost reduction and the relative maturity of the technologies made this possible. Rapid innovation is needed, however, where reducing carbon dioxide emissions is more difficult, such as in heavy industry and long-distance transport. In recent years, there has also been a positive change in terms of innovation, but this must be accelerated in order to bring even more mature low-carbon technologies to the market.

In summary, progress can be seen in each of the more than 50 components of the energy system tracked by the IEA, but most of them are not yet on the trajectory necessary for decarbonization by 2050. The new, clean energy economy is rapidly taking shape, and the few extremely promising developments prove that in most areas even more decisive action is necessary to achieve the international energy and climate goals, stressed Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA, in the press release issued on the occasion of the report. However, according to the International Energy Agency, this requires stronger political support and greater investments worldwide in a wide range of different technologies.

Image source: IEA

Cover image source: Tanes Ngamsom via Getty Images

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