‘Modern bioenergy’ to lead renewable growth to 2023, says IEA

It is forecast to remain the largest renewable source due to its widespread use in heat and transport

Bioenergy from liquid biofuels and biogas will lead the growth of all renewables to 2023.

That’s according to the latest market forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which found half of all renewable energy consumption last year came from so-called “modern” bioenergy.

That includes biogas and liquid biofuels produced from the residue of sugarcane and other plants as opposed to traditional bioenergy like the burning of biomass such as wood.

The IEA suggests renewables will continue to grow over the next five years, accounting for 40% of global energy use growth.

It is forecast to grow most rapidly in the electricity sector and account for almost a third of total world power generation in 2023, however, due to “weaker policy support” and additional barriers to deployment, the use of renewables expands “far more slowly” in the transport and heat sectors.

While the consumption of solar and wind is set to continue to grow in the electricity sector, bioenergy is forecast to remain the largest renewable source due to its widespread use in heat and transport.

Dr Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director said: “Modern bioenergy is the overlooked giant of the renewable energy field. Its share in the world’s total renewables consumption is about 50% today, in other words as much as hydro, wind, solar and all other renewables combined.

“We expect modern bioenergy will continue to lead the field and has huge prospects for further growth. But the right policies and rigorous sustainability regulations will be essential to meet its full potential.”

The report suggests China leads the global growth in renewable energy as a result of its policies to decarbonise all sectors and reduce air pollution – it is forecast to become the largest consumer of green energy, surpassing the European Union by 2023.

Out of the world’s largest energy consumers, Brazil has the highest share of renewables by far – almost 45% of total final energy consumption in 2023, driven by significant contribution of bioenergy and hydropower.

Green gas will be discussed by Corona Energy at the Energy Live Expo event on 31st October in London.

To book your place (free if you are an end user), you can e-mail [email protected].

Latest Podcast