IEA says clean energy markets surge to $320 bln despite challenges
The International Energy Agency's first annual Critical Minerals Market Review underscores that price volatility, supply chain snarls, and geopolitical tensions are challenges that the clean energy market faces in the upcoming years.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), on Tuesday, announced that the market for clean energy transition, meaning minerals like lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper, soared to $320 billion last year. However, the agency also underscored challenges such as volatile prices, supply chain snarls, and geopolitical tensions.
Between 2017 and 2022, the market for minerals has doubled given the record deployment of clean technologies from solar panels to electric car batteries, the IEA noted in its first annual Critical Minerals Market Review as "Rapid growth in demand is providing new opportunities for the industry."
The review also underscored the challenges, "But a combination of volatile price movements, supply chain bottlenecks, and geopolitical concerns has created a potent mix of risks for secure and rapid energy transitions," explaining that "affordability and speed of energy transitions" will depend on the availability of critical mineral supplies.
The IEA, which advises developed nations on energy policies, said the "affordability and speed of energy transitions" will be contingent on the availability of certain mineral supplies.
Prices surged in 2021 and early 2022 as the outbreak of Covid resulted in supply chain constraints and the war in Ukraine wreaked havoc on commodities markets.
The IEA later said that "As things stand, 2023 could be a crucial year for clean energy technology prices."
China leads global green energy transition, but not without challenges
China is heading to become the world leader in renewable power and might eventually surpass its own green energy targets, a report published by The Guardian on June 29 highlighted.
By 2025, China is set to hit its 2030 goal of producing 1,200 gigawatts through wind and solar power, doubling the output it produces today, Global Energy Monitor - a US-based NGO that catalogs fossil fuel and renewable energy projects worldwide - said in the report.
As per the energy-monitoring body, in just the first quarter of the year, China utilized a solar capacity of 228GW, which is more than the rest of the world combined.
Current solar farms under construction will add another 379GW, the report added, which is triple that of the United States and nearly double that of the EU.
Since 2017, China's power production from wind farms doubled, passing 310GW in 2023, almost equal to the next top seven countries combined. The Asian giant is on the path to introducing another 317GW before the end of 2025.
“This new data provides unrivaled granularity about China’s jaw-dropping surge in solar and wind capacity,” said Dorothy Mei, a project manager at Global Energy Monitor.
“As we closely monitor the implementation of prospective projects, this detailed information becomes indispensable in navigating the country’s energy landscape.”
China announced in 2020 that it aims to "reach peak carbon emissions by 2030," and carbon neutrality by 2060.