Renewables on pace to overtake coal as top power source by 2025

Renewables on pace to overtake coal as top power source by 2025

/ 02:09 AM January 15, 2024

Renewables are set to overtake coal as the largest source of power generation globally by 2025, an international energy think tank said, especially as clean energy saw its fastest growth last year.

A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) showed that global renewable energy capacity surged by a record high 50 percent to 510 gigawatts (GW) in 2023, with solar power accounting for 75 percent of new capacities worldwide.

This massive acceleration makes it possible for renewable energy in the world to expand to 7,300 GW by 2029, IEA said.


Solar PV and wind are projected to account for 95 percent of the expansion, allowing renewables to finally surpass coal in terms of power generation.


Globally, the share of coal in total global generation was at least 36 percent in 2023, while renewables stood at 30.2 percent, according to IEA.

“Onshore wind and solar PV are cheaper today than new fossil fuel plants almost everywhere, and cheaper than existing fossil fuel plants in most countries,” said Faith Birol, IEA executive director.

In the Philippines, IEA’s projection shows that the share of renewables in the energy mix will inch up to 27 percent by 2028 from the current 22 percent. The Philippine government aims to reach its 35-percent renewable share goal by 2030.

Renewable energy is likewise expected to expand by 9 GW over the 2023 to 2028 period, with the Department of Energy’s Green Energy Auction Program seen as the main growth driver.

However, IEA also pointed out that renewable energy could further expand if the country addressed grid connection delays, the high cost of financing, lengthy permitting procedures and inadequate transmission infrastructure.

There is also an “overcapacity” in existing coal-fired power plants in the Philippines, as well as Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Nearly 60 percent of the Philippines’ power capacity comes from its coal power plants.


“The most important challenge for the international community is rapidly scaling up financing and deployment of renewables in most emerging and developing economies, many of which are being left behind in the new energy economy,” Birol said.

Following the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) held in November last year, IEA said countries have committed to tripling the current global renewable capacity by 2030.

Birol reiterated that such a goal could only be attained through policy changes aimed at fast-tracking renewable energy development.

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“It’s not enough yet to reach the COP28 goal of tripling renewables, but we’re moving closer—and governments have the tools needed to close the gap,” Birol said. “We will be following very closely to see whether countries are delivering on their promises and implementing appropriate policies. INQ

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