An International Energy Agency (IEA) report has found electric vehicle (EV) sales doubled in 2021, and the organisation is forecasting an increase in global renewable capacity of 8% in 2022.
Revealed in the first annual Breakthrough Agenda Report, the IEA has found that across the globe, EV sales have increased to a record of 6.6 million whereas forecasted global renewable energy capacity deployments in 2022 are set to push through the 300GW mark for the first time.
In the UK, the IEA figures back up recent EV trends in the transportation sector. In fact, EV sales in August accounted for one in seven new cars registered, according to new data from New Automotive.
The data stated that despite internal combustion engines (ICE) registrations having remained steady in August, the EV market continues to grow having accounted for 14.48% of the market with 8,926 EVs registered in August, an increase of more than 2,000 on August 2021.
This growth is expected to continue for the coming years with Centrica’s Hive revealing 54% of UK drivers want to switch to an EV within the next five years ahead of the ICE production ban from 2030.
The report, aiming to align countries’ actions and coordinate investment for low-carbon technologies, finds that several factors have played a role in increasing this figure. According to the IEA, sustained policy has been a primary pillar contributing to the growing deployment of EVs.
As well as this, many car manufacturers have detailed plans to electrify fleets that go further than policy targets. Five times more new EV models have also been made available in 2021 than in 2015, increasing the attractiveness for consumers. The number of EV models available on the market is around 450, states IEA.
“We are in the midst of the first truly global energy crisis, with devastating knock-on consequences across the world economy, especially in developing countries. Only by speeding up the transition to clean sustainable energy can we achieve lasting energy security,’’ said Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA.
“Through international collaboration, we can make the transition quicker, cheaper and easier for everyone – on the back of faster innovation, greater economies of scale, bigger incentives to invest, level playing fields and benefits that are shared across all parts of society. Without this collaboration, the transition to net zero emissions will be much more challenging and could be delayed by decades.”
Alongside the positive results with the EV deployment, global renewable energy capacity deployments are also set to reach 300GW worldwide by the end of this year. The UK in particular has focused and invested heavily in the renewable energy pipeline in order to gain energy reliance and ween the country off of fossil fuel reliance.
One renewable energy source, onshore wind, saw its project pipeline increase by over 4GW in the last twelve months, according to RenewableUK.
Detailed within The Onshore Wind EnergyPulse report, it indicated that the UK pipeline for onshore wind projects has increased from 33GW in October 2021 to 37GW today. This is an increase of 4GW showcasing the rise in popularity for renewable energy generation.
As is the case with renewable energy generation projects, the sector has been gaining significant momentum in recent years as the nation transitions to net zero emissions by 2050. This growing sector is also reciprocated by UK retail investors with seven out of 10 surveyed by Thrive Renewables and Triodos Bank in favour of increasing renewable energy investment in the UK, with more than two-thirds expressing support for solar PV.
Of the 1,000, 65% supported solar PV investments and among those that had been investing for more than 10 years, 78%. Similarly, onshore wind drew support levels of 62% and 72% respectively.
It is not only investors and the energy sector that are supportive of renewable energy generation – the general public is as well. Survation conducted a poll finding that the UK’s general public is overwhelmingly supportive in building new wind and solar farms in order to tackle the ongoing cost of energy crisis.
77% of people in the UK believe the government should use new wind and solar farms to reduce electricity bills, with 76% of people also in support of building renewable energy projects in their local area, stated the data.
The report has also outlined several key recommendations ahead of COP27 to boost global decarbonisation efforts.
For EVs, the IEA recommends that global leaders agree a common definition and target dates by which all new road vehicles will be net zero. The organisation suggested targeting 2035 for cars and vans and the 2040s for heavy duty vehicles.
In the energy sector, the report calls on leaders to demonstrate and test flexible low-carbon power systems to expand the range of solutions and increase the share of variable renewables.
Investment in the renewable sector could be crucial to achieve net zero across the globe and also in the UK. In light of this, the IEA calls on the globe to mobilise investment in charging infrastructure, including prioritised assistance for developing countries and harmonise international charging standards to drive investment and accelerate adoption globally.
“This report highlights the need to ensure affordable access to clean and green sources of energy for all,” said Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt.
“This is also a strong reminder on the need for a focus on implementation, which must be the priority at the national, regional and local level, in order to have the necessary impact globally as well as the need for mobilisation of appropriate finance.”