The world’s energy crisis is driving a rapid expansion of renewable power, with global capacity growth set to almost double in the next five years, according to new research from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Concerns over energy security caused by the Ukraine war have seen countries increasingly turn to renewables such as wind and solar as the prices of imported fossil fuels have skyrocketed. Global renewable power capacity is now forecast to increase by 2,400GW from 2022 to 2027, equivalent to the power capacity of China, according to the latest edition of the IEA’s annual report on the sector, Renewables 2022.

Global solar PV capacity is set to almost triple in 2022–27. (Photo by Karl Hendon via Getty Images)

The increase is 30% higher than the growth forecasted just a year ago, demonstrating the weight of public policy behind the trend. Renewables will now likely account for more than 90% of global electricity expansion over the next five years, overtaking coal to become the largest source of electricity by early 2025. Global solar PV capacity is set to almost triple over the period and wind capacity will almost double, with offshore projects accounting for one-fifth of the growth.

“Renewables were already expanding quickly, but the global energy crisis has kicked them into an extraordinary new phase of even faster growth as countries seek to capitalise on their energy security benefits,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a statement. “This is a clear example of how the current energy crisis can be a historic turning point towards a cleaner and more secure energy system. Renewables’ continued acceleration is critical to help keep the door open to limiting global warming to 1.5°C.”