Renewables account for almost three quarters of new capacity in 2019


The renewable energy sector added 176 gigawatts of generating capacity globally in 2019.

New renewable power accounted for 72 percent of all power expansion last year, according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Total renewable power growth outpaced fossil fuel growth by a factor of 2.6, continuing the dominance of renewables in power expansion first established in 2012.

Solar and wind contributed 90 percent of total renewable capacity added in 2019, with solar adding 98 GW, 60 percent of which was in Asia, while wind expanded by almost 60 GW led by growth in China (26 GW) and the U.S. (9 GW).

These two technologies now generate 623 GW and 586 GW respectively – close to half of global renewable capacity.

IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera said: “Renewable energy is a cost-effective source of new power that insulates power markets and consumers from volatility, supports economic stability and stimulates sustainable growth.”

In Africa and the Middle East, renewables represented 52 percent and 26 percent of net additions respectively, while other regions accounted for at least 70 percent of total capacity expansions.

“With renewable additions providing the majority of new capacity last year, it is clear that many countries and regions recognize the degree to which the energy transition can deliver positive outcomes,” said La Camera.

Hydropower, bioenergy, geothermal and marine energy displayed modest year on year expansion of 12 GW, 6 GW, 700 MW and 500 MW respectively.

Nedim Husomanovic

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