Renewables ‘now make up third of global power capacity’

A new report shows total renewable energy generation capacity reached 2,351GW by the end of last year

Renewable energy

Renewables now account for a third of all power capacity installed around the world.

That’s according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which shows total renewable energy generation capacity reached 2,351GW by the end of last year.

Hydropower makes up around half of this figure at 1,172GW, followed by wind and solar energy with 564GW and 480GW respectively.

Other renewable sources included 121GW of bioenergy, 13GW of geothermal energy and 500MW of marine energy.

The report shows 2018 saw 171GW of renewable energy capacity added to global grids – this year-on-year increase of 7.9% was bolstered by new additions from solar and wind energy, which accounted for 84% of the growth.

Growth was fastest in Oceania, which recorded a 17.7% rise in capacity during 2018.

It was followed by Asia, which accounted for 61% of total new renewable energy installations and grew its clean capacity by 11.4%, with Africa’s 8.4% growth putting it in third place.

Growth in hydropower continued to slow in 2018, with only China adding significant new capacity. The report also highlights a relatively low level of bioenergy capacity expansion and geothermal energy growth.

IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, said: “Through its compelling business case, renewable energy has established itself as the technology of choice for new power generation capacity.

“The strong growth in 2018 continues the remarkable trend of the last five years, which reflects an ongoing shift towards renewable power as the driver of global energy transformation.”

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