The report by global think-tank Climate Analytics said Asia is the only region broadly on course to meet the goal of tripling global renewable energy capacity, driven mostly by policies in China and India.
The region makes the biggest overall contribution, providing around half (47 per cent) of the 8.1 Terawatt of renewable capacity additions needed globally by 2030.
However, the significant coal and gas pipelines in these countries risk stranded assets or slowing the transition. As renewables are set to grow strongly in the region, new fossil fuel plants are not needed and should be avoided, it said.
The growth of renewable energy in China and India compensates for laggards such as South Korea, where it is set to grow at half the rate of the region as a whole.
The report finds that an investment of USD 8 trillion is needed for new renewables and USD 4 trillion for grid and storage infrastructure for tripling global renewable energy capacity to 11 Terawatt or 11,000 Gigawatt.
According to the International Energy Agency, tripling the global renewable energy capacity and doubling the energy efficiency rate by 2030 are critical to limiting the average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The majority of the global capacity gap needed to be closed by 2030 is found in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries that are currently lagging behind the 1.5-degree-Celsius compatible benchmark by around 1 to 1.4 Terawatt.
No country in the OECD is on track to triple renewable energy capacity relative to 2022 levels, the report said.
Renewables capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa needs to scale rapidly by a factor of seven (double the global average) due to historic underinvestment and energy access needs, it said.
Neil Grant — Climate Analytics expert and the report’s lead author — said, “USD 2 trillion a year sounds like a cost but it’s really a choice. We are set to invest over USD 6 trillion in fossil fuels over this decade — more than enough to close the tripling investment gap. Faced with this choice, I would go with the safest, best-value option — renewables.”
According to Claire Fyson, the report’s co-author and policy head at Climate Analytics, “The OECD needs to triple renewables but is currently way off target. Countries in the region claiming to be climate leaders need to walk the talk, not just by ramping up renewables at home but by coming through for other regions that need finance to contribute to the tripling goal.”
The report finds renewables need to continue growing strongly beyond the end of the decade — scaling up five times by 2035 relative to 2022 — to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.