Good news: The global demand for the three major fossil fuels – oil, coal and natural gas – will decline. Demand for them will peak by the end of this decade, in 2030, according to the October 2023 World Energy Outlook (WEO) of the International Energy Agency.
Bad news: The earth will continue its path to warming by 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century. The 1.5°C limit was set in Paris in 2015 by 196 countries.
Getting fed up with fossil fuel is fueled by a number of factors: Increasing use of electric vehicles and renewable energy is offsetting demand for carbon fuel sources; war in Ukraine, conflict in the Middle East, downbeat macro-economic outlook, a world outraged over ever increasing oil prices and extreme weather events caused by global warming.
“The phenomenal rise of clean energy technologies such as solar, wind, electric cars and heat pumps is reshaping how we power everything from factories and vehicles to home appliances and heating systems,” says the IEA, the world’s most authoritative source on energy research and data.
In 2030, or in seven years, clean energy will play a significantly greater role than today.
“This includes almost 10 times as many electric cars on the road worldwide; solar PV generating more electricity than the entire US power system does currently; renewables’ share of the global electricity mix nearing 50 percent, up from 30 percent today; heat pumps and other electric heating systems outselling fossil fuel boilers globally and three times as much investment going into new offshore wind projects than into new coal- and gas-fired power plants,” IEA enthuses.
Since 2020, global investment in clean energy has risen by 40 percent. In 2020, one in 25 cars sold was electric; today, one in five cars sold is electric, except in the Philippines where there are only 15,000 EV vehicles out of almost five million cars.
This year, more than 500 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy generation will be added – a new record. Daily, more than $1 billion is spent on solar development. Manufacturing capacity for key components of clean energy, including solar PV modules and EV batteries, is expanding fast.