Global renewable energy capacity hit record levels in 2019

The renewable share of the global power mix now sits at 34.7%, according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency

Festival Net Zero 2021

Global renewable energy capacity hit record levels in 2019 as the sector added 176GW of new power generation.

That’s according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which shows solar and wind infrastructure accounted for 90% of these additions.

The data shows new renewable power accounted for 72% of all power expansion last year – Asia dominated clean energy growth, accounting for 54% of total additions.

Despite the expansion of renewables being marginally slower than in 2018, total renewable power growth outpaced fossil fuel growth by a factor of 2.6 through the period.

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 – total additions saw the renewable share of all global power capacity ride to 34.7%, up from 33.3% at the end of 2018.

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.

“While the trajectory is positive, more is required to put global energy on a path with sustainable development and climate mitigation – both of which offer significant economic benefits. At this challenging time, we are reminded of the importance of building resilience into our economies. In what must be the decade of action, enabling policies are needed to increase investments and accelerate renewables adoption.”

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