IEA: War in Ukraine likely to accelerate energy transition

The IEA warns that investment in renewables needs to triple by 2030 to help countries achieve net zero

The current energy crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, could become a “historic turning point” towards a cleaner energy system.

In its 524-page World Energy Outlook report, the International Energy Agency suggests that the current crisis provides a “short-term boost” to demand for fossil fuels such as oil and coal but the “lasting gains” come from renewables and nuclear in some cases.

The Paris-based intergovernmental organisation predicts that a peak for fossil fuel demand is in sight – experts say that coal use will fall back within the next few years and natural gas demand will reach a plateau by the end of the decade.

Rising sales of electric vehicles also mean that oil demand will start reducing in the mid-2030s, according to the report.

Analysts also estimate that the current energy price rises could see nearly 75 million people worldwide who recently gained access to electricity lose it this year.

If that happens, it would mean that the number of people without access to modern energy rises for the first time in a decade.

The IEA has also stressed that the world must triple clean energy investment by 2030 to curb climate change – it estimates that countries need to spend around $4 trillion (£3.4tn) in clean energy investment by 2030.

Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said: “It is essential to bring everyone on board, especially at a time when geopolitical fractures on energy and climate are all the more visible.

“This means redoubling efforts to ensure that a broad coalition of countries has a stake in the new energy economy. The journey to a more secure and sustainable energy system may not be a smooth one. But today’s crisis makes it crystal clear why we need to press ahead.”

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