Growth in global renewable energy capacity, despite COVID-19: Report Says

Its the second year in a row for renewable energy’s share of all new generating capacity rose considerably according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

April 06, 2021. By News Bureau

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Despite COVID-19 pandemic, more than 260GW of renewable energy capacity added globally in 2020, beating previous record by almost 50%  Global renewable energy capacity additions in 2020 beat earlier estimates and all previous records despite the economic slowdown that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data released  by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) the world added more than 260 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity last year, exceeding expansion in 2019 by close to 50 per cent.

It added that renewable energy’s share of all new generating capacity rose considerably for the second year in a row. Renewable generation capacity increased by 176 GW (+7.4%) in 2019. Solar energy continued to lead capacity expansion, with an increase of 98 GW (+20%), followed by wind energy with 59 GW (+10%). Hydropower capacity increased by 12 GW (+1%) and bioenergy by 6 GW (+5%). Geothermal energy increased by just under 700 MW.
 

“More than 80 per cent of all new electricity capacity added last year was renewable, with solar and wind accounting for 91 per cent of new renewables,” according to data released on Monday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in its annual Renewable Capacity Statistics 2021.
 
It said that total fossil fuel additions fell to 60 GW in 2020 from 64 GW the previous year highlighting a continued downward trend of fossil fuel expansion.
 
“Despite the difficult period, as we predicted, 2020 marks the start of the decade of renewables. Costs are falling, clean tech markets are growing and never before have the benefits of the energy transition been so clear,” said Francesco La Camera, director-general, IRENA.
 
According to IRENA, the 10.3 per cent rise in installed capacity represents expansion that beats long-term trends of more modest growth year on year. The two variable sources of renewables dominated capacity expansion in 2020 with 127 GW and 111 GW of new installations for solar and wind, respectively.
 
The 10.3 per cent rise in installed capacity represents expansion that beats long-term trends of more modest growth year on year. At the end of 2020, global renewable generation capacity amounted to 2 799 GW with hydropower still accounting for the largest share (1 211 GW) although solar and wind are catching up fast. The two variable sources of renewables dominated capacity expansion in 2020 with 127 GW and 111 GW of new installations for solar and wind, respectively.

 

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