Over the past year, governments around the world have greenlit ambitious renewable energy policies that target the major expansion of wind and solar power, along with the development of technologies such as carbon capture and storage. zero carbon emissions.
Some of the policies also included tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles, heat pumps or energy-efficient building materials.
The United States has signed the Deflationary Reduction Act, the most ambitious climate legislation in the nation’s history. The European Parliament has adopted the REPowerEU plan to reduce Russia’s dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate the transition to clean energy. And China announced plans to meet its 2030 clean energy goals five years ahead of schedule.
Analysts say the global energy crisis stemming from Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, coupled with growing climate threats such as devastating floods in Pakistan, is pushing renewable energy, especially wind and solar, around the world.
Many countries, particularly in Europe, have returned to coal-fired power generation due to the Ukraine war, which has led to increased gas prices and supply constraints. However, analysts said this has not hindered progress towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“The knee-jerk reaction has seen some places go back to fossil fuels, even at a higher cost to the taxpayer,” said Vibhuti Garg, a New Delhi-based energy economist at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
India’s coal production rose nearly 17 percent from April to November. Bangladesh increased natural gas imports and opened thermal power plants. A strong proponent of clean energy, Germany has turned to coal and oil to meet its short-term energy needs.
“It was a good year for renewables, but unfortunately not a bad year for fossil fuels either,” Garg said.
One of India’s largest renewable energy firms, Renew Power has more than 100 clean energy projects across the country and has been the world’s 10th largest solar and wind company for nearly 10 years.
Experts say that the task now is to strengthen this momentum in 2023. “In terms of energy, 2022 is going to be a watershed year,” said Kingsmill Bond, an energy strategist at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a clean energy nonprofit group, adding that “after 200 years of growth, there is evidence that fossil fuel demand will peak in 2019.” and we are now hitting a plateau before the inevitable descent.”
There was also a measure of optimism at the end of the United Nations COP27 climate summit in Egypt in November, when countries agreed to a historic deal on climate finance for poor countries. While the measure failed to make significant progress on many other issues, the “loss and damage” fund is expected to be operational in 2023.