In its annual World Energy Outlook report, released on Thursday, the agency said Russia’s assault on Ukraine had the potential to “accelerate” the global transition to clean energy sources.
The IEA said it expects global investment in low-carbon energy to reach $2 trillion a year through the end of the decade, 50% more than spending. current.
“Energy markets and policies have changed as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, not just for now, but for decades to come,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. in the report.
“The responses from governments around the world promise to make this a historic and definitive shift towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system,” he added.
Since the war broke out in late February, many countries have shunned Russia’s vast energy exports, finding new suppliers and increasing imports of alternative energy sources.
This has put Moscow in a “very degraded position”, the IEA said, and Russia is on track to see its share of global energy exports fall to 13% by 2030, from 20% the last year.
Europe – Moscow’s biggest customer for oil and gas – has borne the brunt of the energy crisis. Benchmark natural gas prices have soared since the invasion, but have fallen sharply in recent weeks thanks to mild temperatures and the bloc’s successful efforts to store gas for the winter.
“Russia [has] lost this market forever. And it will be very difficult [for] that russian oil and gas [to] find a new home as big as Europe, as lucrative as Europe,” Birol told CNN’s Julia Chatterley in an interview Thursday.
Earlier this week, Birol said intense competition for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and oil production cuts by OPEC and its allies had led to “the first truly global energy crisis”, according to Reuters.
Thursday’s report will be welcomed by those who fear the crisis has set back global climate targets.
Energy shortage fears have led some countries in Europe and China to burn more coal this year. Coal-fired power generation jumped almost 15% between March and September in Europe in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, according to the Independent Commodity Intelligence Services.
Overall, however, coal-burning growth has been “moderate” this year, Birol told CNN.
And, for the first time ever, the IEA’s annual forecast sees demand for all fossil fuels peaking or plateauing. Oil is expected to be the last hurdle, reaching a plateau in the mid-2030s, according to the report.
“Governments are putting real money on the table to accelerate green energy [transition]not necessarily for environmental or climate reasons, but mainly for energy security reasons,” Birol told CNN.
Despite the wave of investment in clean energy, the agency said it expects global temperatures to rise by 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century – well above the upper limit of 1.5 Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) needed to avoid serious climate consequences. The world has already warmed by 1.2 degrees Celsius since the industrial revolution.
Governments will also need to increase their annual clean energy investments to $4 trillion by 2030 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the report said.
“There is still a big gap between today’s pledges and a stabilization of global temperature rise around 1.5°C,” the IEA warned.