In 2020, annual renewable energy capacity additions increased 45 per cent to almost 280 gigawatts (GW), the highest ever year-on-year increase since 1999, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) latest renewable energy market update for 2021 and 2022.
It said that the 45 per cent extra power is equal to the total installed capacity of ASEAN, a grouping of 10 dynamic South-East Asian economies.
“Renewable sources of electricity such as wind and solar grew at their fastest rate in two decades in 2020 and are set to expand in coming years at a much faster pace than prior to the pandemic,” IEA said.
It added that the increase in 2020 was set to become the ‘new normal’, with about 270 GW of renewable capacity on course to be added in 2021 and almost 280 GW in 2022, despite a slowdown in China after an exceptional level of additions last year.
Those forecasts have been revised upwards by more than 25 per cent from the IEA’s previous estimates in November as governments around the world have auctioned record levels of renewable capacity and companies have signed record-level power purchase agreements, even as the pandemic spread macroeconomic uncertainties and suppressed demand.
“Wind and solar power are giving us more reasons to be optimistic about our climate goals as they break record after record.