Renewable energy grew last year at the fastest pace in two decades led by China, according to the International Energy Agency report, while it will continue to grow in the next two years. Renewable energy production rose 45% in 2020 to 280 gigawatts last year, the largest year-on-year increase since 1999, even despite disruptions in supply chains and delays in construction activity due to the impact of COVID-19.
Regarding the global renewable energy market, the International Energy Agency expects that 270 gigawatts of new capacity will be added this year and about 280 gigawatts in 2022.
These forecasts are more than 25% higher than the agency’s previous forecast in November, as governments sold unprecedented quantities of renewable energy and companies signed a record number of power purchase agreements.
Governments sold 75 gigawatts of wind, onshore, solar PV, and bioenergy last year, up 20% from 2019.
“Wind and solar energy are giving us more reasons to be optimistic about our climate goals, breaking one record after another,” said agency executive director Fatih Birol. “The increase in renewable energy capacity last year accounted for 90% of the total growth in the global energy sector,” he added.
The hegemony of China
China accounted for 50% of the growth in renewable energy capacity last year, and it will account for 45% this year and 58% in 2022. According to the International Energy Agency.
The total installed renewable energy in the world reached nearly 2,800 gigawatts in 2020 and China has a proven renewable energy capacity of 895 gigawatts, greater than the following five countries combined, according to another report published by the “Trading Platform” website.
In 2020, China acquired about a third of the installed renewable energy capacity in the world (about 32%), about 895 gigawatts, and it comes second in the list of the United States with a capacity of 292 gigawatts.
The combined capacity of the United States, Brazil, India, Germany, and Canada reached 809 gigawatts in 2020, and Japan is the only country with a capacity greater than 100 gigawatts, and Italy and France each have 55 gigawatts capacity in 2020.
Total renewable energy capacity increased by 10% in 2020 from 2,538 gigawatts in 2019 to 2799 in 2020, while it did not exceed 1,330 gigawatts in 2011.
Wind energy witnessed a growth of approximately 18% compared to last year, reaching 733 megawatts in 2020 from 622 megawatts in 2019, while solar energy achieved a growth of 21.6%, rising to 714 gigawatts in 2020 after the figure was in the range of 587 gigawatts in 2019.
The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, believes that governments need to develop policies to encourage more investment in solar and wind energy and the additional network infrastructure they will require, in addition to other renewable energy technologies such as bioenergy and geothermal energy.