IEA: China plays critical role in expanding global use of renewables

Green demand: An employee at a solar panel and equipment factory in China.The biggest contribution to electricity generation from renewables globally will come from solar and wind. — AP

PARIS: Demand for renewables is set to increase in all key sectors in 2021 and China, which “alone accounts for about half of the increase in global renewable electricity generation, ” plays a critical role, according to chief of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

“We expect this year the share of renewables in the world electricity generation comes to 30%, the highest in the history. This is mainly the result of the achievements in a few countries but China plays a critical role, ” Fatih Birol said in an interview with Xinhua.

In its Global Energy Review 2021 released Tuesday, the Paris-based global energy policy adviser noted that electricity generation from renewables is set to leap by more than 8% in 2021, accounting for more than half of the increase in overall electricity supply worldwide.

The biggest contribution to that growth comes from solar and wind, projected to rise by 18% and 17% respectively from last year, both on track for their largest annual rise in history.

“It is excellent news that the renewables are growing very strongly, driven by China, but also followed by United States, Europe and India, ” said the executive director.

With global economic recovery leading to a rebound in energy demand, the IEA noted that global energy demand is set to increase by 4.6% in 2021, led by emerging markets and developing economies.

“We are seeing significant growth of the economies, ” said Birol.

“China is the first country where we have seen the lockdown measures lifted, and the first economy that started to run. Then we are seeing strong economic growth from China, highlighting the resilience of the Chinese economy.”

“We expect this year the Chinese economy will increase about 9%, which is good for China, but also good for the rest of the world, ” he said. — Xinhua

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