The alarms sound in the environment of renewable energies. One of the consequences of the gas crisis and the war in Ukraine is that the energy transition, as planned, has slowed down and “is not growing as fast as expected”. It is included in the report on the Global Status of Renewable Energy 2022 (GSR 2022) presented on Wednesday by REN21, the international policy network dedicated to building a renewable energy future. The bottom line is that the opportunity to build on the momentum to tackle the pandemic has been missed, making it unlikely that the world will meet key climate targets during this decade and that “additional efforts” will be needed to do so.
The GSR, which was presented last Wednesday at the 25th edition of the International Energy and Environment Fair (Genera), held in Madrid, with the participation of President Pedro Sánchez and the Third Vice President and Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera , radiographs every year the progress of renewable energies worldwide. The 2022 report, the seventeenth consecutive edition, ratifies the experts’ forecasts: that despite the fact that there were record increases in renewables in absolute terms, they did not serve to cover the increase in electricity consumption and the global percentage in the final consumption of energy is stagnant (rises from 10.6% in 2009 to 11.7% in 2019).
The report indicates that in heating and cooling the proportion of renewables went from 8.9% to 11.2% between 2009 and 2019, while in transport the progress is worrying (from 2.4% to 3.7%), since It accounts for almost a third of the world’s energy consumption.
The study criticizes precisely the fact that governments have continued to offer subsidies for the production and consumption of fossil fuels as the first option to deal with the effects of the energy crisis, despite the commitments on climate action to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse in 2050 signed at COP26, whose final declaration highlighted the need to reduce the use of coal. And the worst thing is that they have reduced support for renewables. The increase in energy was covered by fossil fuels, resulting in turn in an increase in CO2 of more than 2,000 million tons in 2021, a year that also saw the highest rise in energy prices since the first oil crisis in 1973 , with a strong impact on 136 import-dependent countries.
As much as Rana Adib, executive director of REN21, says that the old energy regime is collapsing, things are not going as she would like. She insists that “the answer lies in renewables, we must promote the proportion of renewables and make them a priority in economic and industrial policy, and not fight fire with more fire.” “Investing in renewables will avoid the risk of inflation, with energy at a fixed price,” she added. “We ask for short and long-term goals and plans with clear dates to end fossil fuels,” said the president of REN21, Arthouros Zervos.
The study highlights, in this sense, that the countries that have a higher proportion of renewable energies in their total consumption enjoy greater independence and energy security. Among them he places Spain, along with Portugal, Denmark, Ireland and Iceland, as well as 1,500 cities, that is, 30% of the urban population.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
From Spain, it stands out that it reached a new record for photovoltaic solar installations in 2021, with 4.9 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity added in 2021, 44% more than in 2020, thus raising its total capacity to 18.5 GW. Spain ranks second in Europe in terms of new projects, behind Germany, and seventh worldwide. Likewise, it is the second European country in total wind power capacity (28.2 GW), after Germany, and the fifth worldwide.
It also highlights the plan of the Government of Pedro Sánchez to allocate 6,900 million euros to renewable energies and related technologies (including renewable hydrogen, storage and electric mobility).
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