Renewable Energy

COP28 Presidency: Triple renewable energy capacity, double energy efficiency by 2030 to limit global warming

By 2030, global installed hydropower capacity (excluding pumped hydro) would need to grow by almost 17% from the 2022 level, report added

By Seema Prasad
Published: Monday 30 October 2023
Photo: iStock_

Tripling renewable energy capacity for power generation and doubling energy efficiency by 2030 is crucial to limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, highlighted a new report released on October 30.

The report by the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) Presidency, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global Renewables Alliance was launched on the sidelines of a pre-COP event in Abu Dhabi.

“The Global Stocktake has told us exactly how far off track we are. We need to cut 22 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases in the next seven years in order to keep 1.5°C within reach. The phase-down of fossil fuels is inevitable and essential, but it must be responsible,” COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber said in the report.

“To deliver a just and orderly energy transition while advancing socio-economic development and ensuring energy affordability, reliability, and sustainability, we must rapidly accelerate our efforts to ramp up renewable energy. Now is the time to turbocharge solutions and meet the moment's urgency with ambitious and determined action,” Jaber added further.

From 3,382 gigawatts (GW) in 2022, the world’s installed renewable power generation capacity has to be multiplied by more than three times to reach  11,174 GW by 2030, according to IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook 1.5°C scenario envisioned.

Over the same period, when it comes to installed solar photovoltaic capacity, an increase to more than 5,400 GW from 1,055 GW in 2022 is required. Wind installations need to exceed 3,500 GW (3,040 GW onshore and 500 GW offshore), a jump from 899 GW in 2022, the report added.

By 2030, global installed hydropower capacity (excluding pumped hydro) would need to grow by almost 17 per cent from the 2022 level, reaching 1 465 GW, according to IRENA’s 1.5°C Scenario. 

With flexibility and storage included, the share of variable renewable energy, a combination of solar PV and wind power, a rise from 10 per cent of the total electricity generated in 2021 to 46 per cent by 2030 is needed to meet the 2030 target, the report added.

“COP28 marks the year of the first Global Stocktake, in which the world reflects on its progress in implementing the Paris Agreement. It is vital that collective action be galvanised following this key milestone in our journey toward a climate-safe existence to ensure the forthcoming round of Nationally Determined Contributions in 2025 represents a transformative leap forward, realigning us with the 1.5°C goal,” Francesco La Camera, Director-General, IRENA said in the report.

So far, energy transition remains off-track, and global greenhouse gas emissions have reached record levels. 

Besides adding renewable energy capacity, the global annual rate of energy intensity improvement should double by 2030 from the current level, the report added.

“Technical energy efficiency improvements embodied by heat pumps, more efficient appliances, and electric vehicles — together with flexible, smart electrification strategies and deployment of decentralised energy – are of tremendous importance in decarbonising end-use sectors such as buildings and transportation,” the report explained.

Energy intensity: Indicators in transport and buildings in 2030


However, even if we follow the Nationally Determined targets outlined, by 2030, CO2 will only go down by 6 per cent from 2022 levels, IRENA’s flagship report World Energy Transitions Outlook 2023: 1.5°C pathway showed. 

Action is also needed to drive grid modernisation and expansion and ensure supply-side, flexibility and demand-side management, the authors of the report said.

From $486 billion in 2022, the annual average investment in renewable power generation must go up to $1,300 billion by 2030. To achieve this, the global financial architecture must be reformed to support the energy transition in the Global South, the report suggested.

Funding from multilateral development banks should be increased exponentially, and public capital should be redirected from the fossil fuel industry to renewable energy development, the report said.

“There is an urgent need to boost crosssector infrastructure planning, increase cross-border co-operation and develop regional power grids,” the report said.

“Energy efficiency policy measures should include: the adoption of targets with specific time horizons; strong regulatory frameworks including building codes and energy efficiency standards for appliances; fiscal and financial incentives; and public campaigns to build awareness of the role of energy efficiency measures,” the report said.

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