New Renewable Power Accounted For 72% Of All Power Expansion In 2019

According to data recently released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), new renewable power accounted for 72 per cent of all power expansion last year COURTESY PHOTO According to data recently released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), new renewable power accounted for 72 per cent of all power expansion last year

Renewable Capacity Statistics 2020 shows that renewable energy capacity expanded by 7.6% last year with Asia dominating growth and accounting for 54% of total additions. 

The renewable energy sector added 176 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity globally in 2019, marginally lower than the (revised) 179 GW added in 2018.  

Renewables accounted for at least 70% of total capacity expansion in almost all regions in 2019, other than in Africa and the Middle East, where they represented 52% and 26% of net additions, respectively.

The additions took the renewable share of all global power capacity to 34.7%, up from 33.3% at the end of 2018. Non-renewable capacity expansion globally followed long-term trends in 2019, with net growth in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and net decommissioning in Europe and North America.

Hydropower

Growth in hydro was unusually low in 2019, possibly because some large projects missed their expected completion dates. As in many previous years, China and Brazil accounted for most of the expansion, each adding more than 4 GW.

Wind energy

Wind performed particularly well in 2019, expanding by nearly 60 GW. China and the United States continued to dominate, with increases of 26 GW and 9 GW respectively.

Solar energy

Asia continued to dominate global solar capacity expansion with a 56 GW increase, but this was lower than in 2018. Other major increases were in the United States, Australia, Spain, Ukraine and Germany. 

Bio energy

Expansion of bioenergy capacity remained modest in 2019. China accounted for half of all new capacity (+3.3 GW). Germany, Italy, Japan and Turkey also saw some expansion.

Geothermal energy

Geothermal power capacity grew by 682 MW in 2019, slightly more than in 2018. Again, Turkey led with an expansion of 232 MW, followed by Indonesia (+185 MW) and Kenya (+160 MW).

Off-grid electricity

Off-grid capacity grew by 160 MW (+2%) to reach 8.6 GW in 2019.
Bioenergy accounts for 40% of off-grid capacity, but it is growing relatively slowly. In 2019, offgrid solar PV increased by 112 MW and hydropower grew by 31 MW, compared to growth of only 17 MW for bioenergy.

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