Renewables saw record global growth in 2016

Renewable energy saw record global growth of 161GW in 2016. That’s according to the latest data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which shows this 8.7% increase was led […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Renewable energy saw record global growth of 161GW in 2016.

That’s according to the latest data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which shows this 8.7% increase was led primarily by 71GW of new solar power being put into place.

It marked the first time since 2013 that solar outpaced wind, which increased by a significantly lower 51GW.

Hydropower and bioenergy capacities increased 30GW and 9GW respectively, with geothermal power increasing by just under 1GW.

The report shows Asia accounted for 58% of the year’s green growth, giving it a total of 812GW installed – roughly 41% of renewable capacity worldwide.

Africa installed 4.1GW of new capacity in 2016, twice as much as in 2015.

IRENA also says off-grid renewable capacity reached 2,800MW at the end of 2016, with around 40% of this coming from solar.

It’s estimated as many as 60 million households use and benefit from off-grid green power.

IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said: “This growth in deployment emphasises the increasingly strong business case for renewables which also have multiple socioeconomic benefits in terms of fueling economic growth, creating jobs and improving human welfare and the environment.

“This new data is an encouraging sign that though there is much yet to do, we are on the right path.”

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