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Renewables now account for a third of global power capacity



There doesn’t seem to be any stopping the growth of renewable energy! A new report from IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) has revealed this week that following international additions of 171 gigawatts in 2018, renewable energy sources now account for a third of global power capacity.
Following significant capacity additions in 2018 renewables now account for a third of global power capacity.
The annual increase of 7.9 per increase was led predominantly by new additions from PV solar and wind- although other sources of renewable energy generation have contributed to the overall capacity figures.

Whilst renewables growth has occurred worldwide over the past 12 months- it’s varied by geographic region. Asia accounted for 61 per cent of total new renewable energy installations and grew installed renewables capacity by 11.4 per cent, however it was the Oceania region which witnessed the fastest growth with a 17.7 per cent rise in 2018. 

Commenting on the continued growth of renewable energy, IRENA’s Director-General Adnan Amin said:

“Through its compelling business case, renewable energy has established itself as the technology of choice for new power generation capacity. The strong growth in 2018 continues the remarkable trend of the last five years, which reflects an ongoing shift towards renewable power as the drive of global energy transformation”.

“Renewable energy deployment needs to grow even faster, however, to ensure that we can achieve the global climate objectives and Sustainable Development Goals. Countries taking full advantage of their renewables potential will benefit from a host of socioeconomic benefits in addition to decarbonising their economies”.
Solar led the charge adding considerable capacity in 2018
Whilst the outlook for renewables is positive, the same can’t necessarily be said for non-renewable sources. The IRENA report examined non-renewable sources such as fossil-fuels and nuclear and found a mixed picture. In Europe, North America and Oceania non-renewable generation capacity declined by about 85 GW since 2010, whilst it increased in both Asia and the Middle East over the same period.

Globally, total renewable energy generation capacity reached 2,351 GW at the end of last year – around a third of total installed electricity capacity. Hydropower accounts for the largest share with an installed capacity of 1,172 GW – around half of the total. Wind and solar energy account for most of the remainder with capacities of 564 GW and 480 GW respectively. Other renewables included 151 GW of bioenergy, 13 GW of geothermal energy and 500 MW of marine energy (tide, wave and ocean energy).

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Renewables now account for a third of global power capacity - Time to read 3 min
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