RENEWABLE ENERGY NOW ACCOUNTS FOR A THIRD OF GLOBAL POWER CAPACITY
The decade-long trend of strong growth in renewable energy capacity continued in 2018 with global additions of 171 GW, according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on April 2, 2019. The annual increase of 7.9% was bolstered by new additions from solar and wind energy, which accounted for 84% of the growth. A third of global power capacity is now based on renewable energy. IRENA’s annual Renewable Capacity Statistics 2019, the most comprehensive, up-to-date and accessible figures on renewable energy capacity indicates growth in all regions of the world, although at varying speeds. While Asia accounted for 61% of total new renewable energy installations and grew installed renewables capacity by 11.4%, growth was fastest in Oceania that witnessed a 17.7% rise in 2018. Africa’s 8.4% growth put it in third place just behind Asia. Nearly two-thirds of all new power generation capacity added in 2018 was from renewables, led by emerging and developing economies. IRENA’s analysis also compared the growth in generation capacity of renewables versus non- renewable energy, mainly fossil-fuels and nuclear. While non-renewable generation capacity has decreased in Europe, North America, and Oceania by about 85 GW since 2010, it has increased in both Asia and the Middle East over the same period. Since 2000, non-renewable generation capacity has expanded by about 115 GW per year (on average), with no discernible trend upwards or downwards.