Over 260GW of clean energy capacity deployed in 2020
Despite the impact of Covid-19, over 260GW of new renewable energy capacity was deployed in 2020, per the recent data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
According to IRENA's 'Renewable Capacity Statistics 2021' report, new capacity in 2020 will surpass expansion in 2019 by nearly 50%.
Renewable energy's share of new generating capacity increased for the second year in a row, according to the agency.
As per IRENA, green energy accounted for more than 80% of all new electricity capacity installed last year, with solar and wind power contributing 91% of new clean power.
According to the study, new solar installations reached 127GW, while wind power installations reached 111GW.
Last year, China added 136GW, with 72GW of wind and 49GW of solar accounting for the majority of energy.
In 2020, the United States deployed 29 GW of clean energy, almost 80% more than in 2019, with 15 GW of solar and about 14 GW of wind.
The growing share of renewables in the total is partly due to net decommissioning of fossil fuel power generation in Europe, North America, and, for the first time, across Eurasia, according to IRENA (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russian Federation and Turkey).
Total fossil fuel contributions dropped to 60GW in 2020 from 64GW the previous year, indicating downward trend of fossil fuel expansion.
According to IRENA, global renewable generation capacity will reach 2799GW by the end of 2020, with hydropower responsible for the largest portion (1211GW).
IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera said: “These numbers tell a remarkable story of resilience and hope.
“Despite the challenges and the uncertainty of 2020, renewable energy emerged as a source of undeniable optimism for a better, more equitable, resilient, clean and just future.
“The great reset offered a moment of reflection and chance to align our trajectory with the path to inclusive prosperity, and there are signs we are grasping it.
“Despite the difficult period, as we predicted, 2020 marks the start of the decade of renewables.
“Costs are falling, clean tech markets are growing and never before have the benefits of the energy transition been so clear.
“This trend is unstoppable, but as the review of our World Energy Transition Outlook highlights, there is a huge amount to be done.
“Our 1.5 degree outlook shows significant planned energy investments must be redirected to support the transition if we are to achieve 2050 goals.
“In this critical decade of action, the international community must look to this trend as a source of inspiration to go further.”