(Bloomberg) – A record amount of renewable energy capacity was built last year, thanks in large part to investments in China and the United States, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Renewables, mainly in the form of wind and solar power, accounted for 82% of new electricity installation in 2020, said Abu Dhabi-based IRENA, which advises governments on clean energy. China added 136 gigawatts, more than half of the total and a similar amount to Spain’s total energy production.
“These numbers tell a remarkable story,” said IRENA CEO Francesco La Camera. “Despite the difficult period, as we predicted, 2020 marks the beginning of the decade of renewables. Costs are falling, clean technology markets are growing, and never before have the benefits of the energy transition been so clear. “
Renewables still lag behind the dirtiest forms of electricity generation. Its share of total capacity increased by two percentage points from 2019 to 36.6%, IRENA noted in a report.
The organization said there was still “a lot to do.” Decarbonization to limit the worst effects of climate change will require renewables to expand 10 times by 2050, or an investment of US $ 4.4 trillion a year, IRENA said earlier this month.
China, which is both the world’s largest market for clean energy and the world’s biggest polluter, built 72 GW of wind power and 49 GW of solar power in 2020, according to Monday’s report. The US installed 29 GW of renewable energy, almost 80% more than in 2019.
While renewable capacity grew, in Europe, North America and countries like Russia and Turkey there was a net dismantling of fossil fuel power generation, according to the report. Total fossil fuel additions fell from 64 GW in 2019 to 60 GW in 2020, it said.
The most outstanding:
Renewable capacity grew by 260 GW, or 10.3%, to 2,799 GW in 2020; Solar power accounted for 49% of additions Hydro power accounts for 43% of renewable capacity, although it grew only 2%, or 20 GW, in 2020. Wind and solar power each account for 26% Asia, Middle East and Africa continued building traditional power plants in 2020
Original Note: China, US Made 2020 a Record Year for Renewable Power Growth
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