Head of International Energy Agency considers China world champion in wind power and photovoltaic

China has emerged as a world champion in green energy, achieving a remarkable surge in renewable capacity and playing a pivotal role in global energy cooperation, said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). 

Global renewable energy capacity grew by 50 percent in 2023 to almost 510 gigawatts (GW), and is expected to grow by 2.5 times by 2030, but governments need to go further to achieve a goal of tripling it by then agreed upon at the United Nations climate talks, the IEA said in its annual renewable energy outlook report last week.

“We have seen additions in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, and India, but if I had to single out one country, which made this world record possible, it is by far China,” said Birol on Wednesday on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos.

Underscoring the contribution of China to global progress, Birol said, “The amount of China’s renewable capacity in 2023 was equal to the entire world expansion in 2022.”

“China not only produced a lot of renewable capacity domestically, but also drove down costs by deploying these clean energy sources, making green technologies cheaper and affordable, and providing the service to the entire community. There’s a double service coming from China for the clean energy transition of the world,” Birol added.

In its World Energy Outlook 2023, the IEA said that some of the immediate pressures from the global energy crisis have eased, but energy markets, geopolitics, and the global economy are unsettled and the risk of further disruption is ever-present.

Fossil fuel prices are down from their 2022 peaks, but markets are tense and volatile due to the Ukraine crisis and the risk of protracted conflict in the Middle East, according to the report.

Amid uncertainties and challenges, Birol believes China has a significant role in international energy cooperation.

“China collaborates with numerous countries, both developed and developing. I hope China will continue delivering clean energy technologies to other nations within the international trade rules and regulations,” he said.

When asked about his outlook for global energy prices this year, the Paris-based agency’s executive director said: “Looking at oil and gas, if we don’t see any big surprises in geopolitical tensions around the world, looking at the supply and demand fundamentals, we should expect rather moderate prices and balanced markets.”

“In terms of oil, we are expecting a significant amount of new oil production coming from the Americas, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Guiana,” he added.

On the theme of “Rebuilding Trust,” the WEF’s 54th Annual Meeting runs from January 15 to 19 at Davos, Switzerland. 

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency