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Mass-manufactured clean energy technologies to hit $650 billion yearly

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
25 January 2023   |   4:00 am
A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has revealed that mass-manufactured clean energy technologies will be worth around $650 billion a year by 2030.

A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has revealed that mass-manufactured clean energy technologies will be worth around $650 billion a year by 2030.

This development is more than three times the current level of manufacturing, a move attributed to global implementation of energy and climate pledges.

Though Nigeria launched an energy transition plan and renewable energy roadmap, the United Kingdom High Commission last year, said climate-smart investment in Nigeria, especially in the renewable energy sector, stands at over $104 billion.

IEA in its report said clean energy manufacturing jobs would more than double from current six million to nearly 14 million by 2030, adding that rapid industrial and employment growth is expected in the following decades as transitions progress.

“At the same time, the current supply chains of clean energy technologies present risks in the form of high geographic concentrations of resource mining and processing as well as technology manufacturing.

“For technologies like solar panels, wind, EV batteries, electrolysers and heat pumps, the three largest producer countries account for at least 70 per cent of manufacturing capacity for each technology – with China dominant in all of them,” the report noted.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the report, has over 70 per cent of the world’s cobalt, and just three countries – Australia, Chile and China – account for more than 90 per cent of global lithium production.

The agency noted that the world is at the dawn of a new industrial age, which it referred to as the age of clean energy technology manufacturing.

Amidst opportunities, IEA stated that the wave is “raising new risks, prompting countries across the globe to devise industrial strategies to secure their place in the new global energy economy.”

The report spotlighted the rapid manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, EV batteries, electrolysers for hydrogen and heat pumps as well as their supply chains around the world.

The report noted that the world is witnessing already tight supply chain risks, which have pushed up clean energy technology prices in recent years, making countries’ clean energy transitions more difficult and costlier.

“Increasing prices for cobalt, lithium and nickel led to the first ever rise in EV battery prices, which jumped by nearly 10 per cent globally in 2022. The cost of wind turbines outside China has also been rising after years of declines, and similar trends can be seen in solar PV,” the report noted.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol noted that the encouraging news was that the global project pipeline for clean energy technology manufacturing is large and growing.

“If everything announced as of today gets built, the investment flowing into manufacturing clean energy technologies would provide two-thirds of what is needed in a pathway to net zero emissions. The current momentum is moving us closer to meeting our international energy and climate goals – and there is almost certainly more to come.

“At the same time, the world would benefit from more diversified clean technology supply chains. As we have seen with Europe’s reliance on Russian gas, when you depend too much on one company, one country or one trade route – you risk paying a heavy price if there is disruption. So, I’m pleased to see many economies around the world competing today to be leaders in the new energy economy and drive an expansion of clean technology manufacturing in the race to net zero,” Dr Birol said.