Ukraine Crisis Expected to Speed Up Shift to Renewables

According to the International Energy Agency, the war in Ukraine will be a factor in a quicker transition to renewable energy. In an October 27 release, the organization projected demand for fossil fuels falling or plateauing going forward in all scenarios it calculated, while it expects the adoption of renewable energy sources to speed up.

One year ago, the agency had predicted that renewable energy (excluding traditional biogas and nuclear) would contribute 193 exajoules (26 percent) to world energy supply under the stated policies scenario by 2050. This year, it upped this prediction to 215 exajoules (29 percent of global energy production).

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is also expected to become a major turning point in the use of the most contested commodities in the current crisis – natural gas. Last year, the IEA had assumed use of the resource would grown beyond 2050. Now, it expects natural gas burning to plateau over the next decades, remaining at a level of around 20 percent of global energy supply.

The story is similar with oil, but the change in projection has been less extreme than with gas. Coal had previously been categorized as a shrinking resource by the IEA, but its decline is now expected to pick up more speed. All in all, fossil fuels are still projected to supply more than half of global energy by 2050. But as their use is declining, highest point for global emissions would be reached in 2025, according to the newest scenario.

The IEA said that current energy markets were extremely vulnerable due to the crisis, but also concluded that the ongoing upheaval had shown inherent downsides to the state of global energy supply, which are not only environmental, but also include unwanted geopolitical dependencies as well as the possibility of extreme price swings and unpredictable disruptions. According to the analysis, the ongoing transition to carbon-neutral sources has not majorly contributed to the recent price hikes that consumers have been seeing.

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Source: Statista

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