Renewable Energy Hits Record Growth In 2020
Renewable energy will overtake coal to become the largest source of electricity generation in the world by 2025, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
In a new report, published November 10, the IEA revealed that in contrast to the sharp decline in demand for oil, gas and coal as a result of coronavirus, renewable energy is growing worldwide.
The IEA forecasts that 90% of the total expansion in power capacity globally this year will be led by wind, hydropower and solar energy.
Additionally, the installation of renewable energy sources is set to grow by 4%. This means renewable energy capacity will increase by a record 200 gigawatts in 2020.
The increase is largely being driven by the USA and China, where developers are taking advantage of government incentives.
While this is good news, the IEA said governments need to address policy uncertainties around renewable energy. In the US, the use of fossil fuels could be reduced much quicker if the policies proposed by President-elect Joe Biden are implemented this year, The Guardian reports.
IEA’s Executive Director, Fatih Birol, said:
Renewables are resilient to the Covid crisis but not to policy uncertainties. Governments can tackle these issues to help bring about a sustainable recovery and accelerate clean energy transitions.
In the United States, for instance, if the proposed clean electricity policies of the next US administration are implemented, they could lead to a much more rapid deployment of solar [power] and wind, contributing to a faster decarbonisation of the power sector.
In other parts of the world, India is expected to be ‘the largest contributor to the renewables upswing in 2021, with the country’s annual additions doubling from 2020’, according to the report.
As the need to tackle the climate crisis grows — and Boris Johnson prepares the UK’s plan of action — the demand for renewable energy in the long term is growing.
By 2025, the agency predicts that renewables will be the largest source of electricity generation worldwide, ending coal’s 50 years as the top power provider.
Renewable power is defying the difficulties caused by the pandemic, showing robust growth while other fuels struggle.
Over the first 10 months of 2020, China, India and the European Union have driven auctioned renewable power capacity worldwide 15% higher than in the same period last year, according to the IEA.
Specifically, by October, shares of solar companies worldwide doubled in value from December 2019.
In 2025, renewables are expected to supply one-third of the world’s electricity – and their total capacity will be twice the size of the entire power capacity of China today.
Aside from a reduction in the use of coal, the report said total wind and solar capacity is on course to surpass natural gas by 2023.
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International Energy Agency