Investments in electricity networks will need to accelerate rapidly in the coming years to meet global climate goals, according to a new report released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
According to the report, 50 million miles of power lines will need to be added or replaced by 2040, about the same as the entire global electricity grid today, with investments doubling to more than $600 billion per year by 2030 to meet all national climates. and climate requirements. energy goals.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said:
“The recent clean energy progress we have seen in many countries is unprecedented and cause for optimism, but could be at risk if governments and businesses do not come together to ensure the world’s electricity grids are ready for the new global energy economy that is emerging. emerging quickly. This report shows what is at stake and what needs to be done. We must invest in networks today, otherwise we will face gridlock tomorrow.”
The report indicates that investments in networks have not kept pace with the rapid growth of clean energy generation and technologies such as wind and solar energy, electric vehicles and heat pumps. Although investment in renewable energy has almost doubled over the past decade, the report shows that global investment in electricity grids has remained roughly the same at around $300 billion per year.
With electricity infrastructure growth lagging behind other clean energy technologies, electricity grids are becoming a major bottleneck for the energy transition, according to the IEA report, which finds that at least 3,000 GW of renewable energy projects, including 1,500 GW in advanced stages, have not yet has been realised. already waiting in queues for grid connection.
The IEA also conducted a scenario analysis for the report, which found that in the event that network investments and regulatory reforms are postponed, cumulative carbon emissions would be almost 60 billion tons greater between 2030 and 2050, exceeding the target of the Paris Agreement to limit the temperature from rising to 1.5°C out of range, creating a 40% chance of exceeding 2°C.
The report also highlights the need for rapid action to increase investment in networks, given the long lead times for new network infrastructure projects, and includes recommendations to ensure that electricity infrastructure does not become a net zero barrier, including expanding and strengthening network interconnections within the network. and between countries and regions, providing government support for large-scale transmission projects and leveraging digitalization to enable more resilient and flexible networks in the future.
“Ensuring that developing countries have the resources they need to build and modernize electricity networks is an essential task for the international community. By mobilizing finance, providing access to technology and sharing policy best practices, leading economies can help improve people’s lives, strengthen sustainable development and reduce the risks of climate change.”
click here to access the IEA report.