Renewable energy growth to decline in Nigeria, other economies -IEA

Pablo Tucker
May 22, 2020

Recovery will be slower in more mature markets such as Europe, however, as global growth for 2020 and 2021 combined is expected to be 10 percent under the IEA's previous forecast.

Meanwhile, both the United States and China are expected to boost their renewable capacity this year and next, as firms rush to complete projects before the expiry of government incentives.

As a result, 2021 is forecast to nearly reach the level of renewable capacity additions of 2019.

The experts had at different fora lamented the huge cost associated with renewable energy components which are about 100 per cent imported into the country, thus increasing the cost of access to power through renewable.

New figures from the IEA predict that the world will grow its capacity of renewable energy by 6% or 167 GW this year. But after record growth a year ago, Europe is set to see renewable power additions plunge by a third - its largest annual decline since 1996 - with only a partial recovery expected in 2021.

"Solar Photovoltaics (PV) and wind account for 86 percent of global renewable capacity additions this year, but their annual expansion is forecast to decline by 18 per cent and 12 per cent respectively compared to 2019", the report read.

Large-scale PV projects are expected to rebound in 2021, but overall installations are unlikely to surpass 2019 levels, IEA said. "Governments must not lose sight of the essential task of stepping up clean energy transitions to enable us to emerge from the crisis on a secure and sustainable path". This is because of a significantly slower recovery of distributed solar PV as households and small businesses review investment plans.

In particular, residential solar is set to take longer than other renewables like offshore wind to rebound following the COVID-19 lockdown.

"The continued decline in renewable energy costs alone will not be enough to shelter the industry from the current crisis".

"The resilience of renewable electricity to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis is good news but can not be taken for granted", said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA executive director.

IEA said renewables had already been facing challenges at the start of the year in several markets in terms of financing, policy uncertainty and grid integration, with Covid-19 now "intensifying those concerns".

While sectors supplying electricity - solar, wind and hydropower - would be largely resilient in the crisis, it said, the market for biofuels used mainly in transport would be "radically" altered as global travel is frozen and oil prices plummet. "But if [support schemes] are postponed or cancelled it will be a serious hit for the growth of renewables, which we need badly to meet our climate goals".

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