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Expand chart
Reproduced from IEA’s Renewables 2019 report; Chart: Axios Visuals

The International Energy Agency's new five-year renewable energy forecast sees faster growth than last year's outlook, but warns that movement toward zero-carbon sources is too slow to confront global warming.

What they found: The agency forecasts that total global renewable power capacity, which was 2,502 gigawatts last year, will increase 50% by 2024, with solar accounting for over half the expansion.

  • "Overall, the forecast has been revised upwards by over 14% from [last year's report], owing to a more positive outlook for solar [photovoltaic] PV and on- and offshore wind."
  • The upward revision stems from "sustained cost reductions" and a generally better policy and regulatory environment.
  • IEA sees renewables — led by expanding solar and wind deployment — rising to meet 30% of global power demand in five years.

Why it matters: Expanded use of renewables in power and heating are important tools for fighting climate change and renewables are a major growth industry.

  • But global carbon emissions are still rising as use of fossil sources and renewables alike rise to meet growing demand.
  • Simply put, while the renewables' share of power demand is growing (see chart above), the whole pie is growing too.
  • “[D]eployment still needs to accelerate if we are to achieve long-term climate, air quality and energy access goals,” IEA head Fatih Birol said in a statement alongside the new forecast.

Quick take: Even IEA's higher forecast could prove too modest, given that the agency has often underestimated renewables growth in the past.

Go deeper

43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden plan expected to include at least $500B for climate

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House is privately telling lawmakers the climate portion of President Biden's roughly $2 trillion social spending plan is "mostly settled" and will likely cost more than $500 billion, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: A pricetag of $500-555 billion is a huge number and, if it holds, would likely be the single biggest component of the sweeping package. It also isn't far off from the roughly $600 billion proposed when the bill was expected to cost $3.5 trillion.

50 mins ago - World

U.S. presses Gulf countries to help resolve Sudan coup crisis

Jake Sullivan briefs the press. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The Biden administration has asked its partners in the Gulf and elsewhere to press the Sudanese generals who carried out a coup on Monday to release captives including Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and to reinstate the civilian government, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The U.S. has limited influence over coup leader Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and other military leaders, many of whom have close ties to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Higher prices are the new norm, with no end in sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies are making money at record rates thanks in part to customers who are willing to pay higher prices.

Why it matters: In order to keeping that corporate profitability streak going, shoppers should expect sticker prices to stay high or become more expensive well into 2022. Fewer promotions and shallower discounts will also become the norm as inventory levels remain low.

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