638 GW of Solar Power Generation Capacity Added in the Last Decade: UNEP Report

The report "Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2019" says the 2010-2019 period is set to have seen a net 2.4 TW of the power capacity of all sorts installed, with solar first, coal second, and wind narrowly beating gas for third place

September 19, 2019. By News Bureau

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The world added a massive 638 gigawatt (GW) of solar power generation capacity, comprising both solar photovoltaic and thermal, between 2010 and 2019 -- the prevalent such addition across renewable energy technologies, according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

"Solar is set to have been the most heavily installed generation technology in the 2010s with some 638 Gw added worldwide (including solar thermal as well as PV) - an astonishing result for a power source that could boast only 25 GW of global capacity at the end of 2009," the report said.

The report "Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2019" says the 2010-2019 period is set to have seen a net 2.4 Terawatts of power capacity of all sorts installed, with solar first, coal second, and wind narrowly beating gas for third place.

The decade observed $2.6 trillion investment in renewable energy capacity -- exclusive of large hydro -- more than threefold the amount capitalized in the former decade.

"In the renewable energy space, solar power has attracted maximum investments worth $1.3 trillion during 2010-2019, followed by wind securing $1 trillion and biomass and waste-to-energy with $115 billion," it said.

The decade has seen a huge development in the cost-competitiveness of renewables, with the levelized cost of electricity for solar photovoltaics down 81 per cent, for onshore wind down 46 per cent and for offshore wind down 44 per cent.

Among regions, China remains the top country by far in terms of the sums invested in renewables capacity during the current decade. It has so far committed investments worth $758 billion, the US is on the second place with $356 billion and Japan third with $202 billion.

India, which is a progressively important investor in renewables according to UNEP, has dedicated $90 billion by the end of the first half of this year.

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