IEA: Renewable capacity up 45% in 2020

A new report shows renewable sources of electricity grew at the fastest rate in two decades last year

Big Zero Report 2023

Renewable sources of electricity grew at their fastest rate in two decades last year.

That’s according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which estimates the amount of renewable electricity capacity installed in 2020 soared by 45% to 280GW.

That represents the largest year-on-year increase since 1999, the body suggests.

The data shows this growth in renewables is set to continue this year, adding 270GW of new capacity.

IEA said these forecasts have been revised upwards by more than 25% from the previous estimates.

The record levels of renewable capacity, which has been auctioned and the record-level power purchase agreements companies have signed are believed to have contributed to this growth.

Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the IEA, said: “Wind and solar power are giving us more reasons to be optimistic about our climate goals as they break record after record. Last year, the increase in renewable capacity accounted for 90% of the entire global power sector’s expansion.

“Governments need to build on this promising momentum through policies that encourage greater investment in solar and wind, in the additional grid infrastructure they will require, and in other key renewable technologies such as hydropower, bioenergy and geothermal.”

Make sure you check out the latest Net Hero Podcast episode: