• Global renewable energy capacity increased by 6% last year and is set to increase by 8% this year.
  • The International Energy Agency warns that progress could stall without change.
  • This chart shows the biggest contributors to new capacity.

Renewable energy capacity additions hit 6% and broke another record by reaching almost 295 GW in 2021, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This came despite supply chain challenges brought about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, construction delays and high costs of raw materials and commodities.

So, which renewable technologies are driving capacity expansion?

Renewable energy capacity

This chart from the IEA shows the breakdown of new capacity from 2017-2023. The report forecasts that renewable capacity will increase by over 8% this year and break the 300 GW mark for the first time.

Solar is set to make up 60% of this increase. Wind will also play its part, with 2022 offshore wind set to double 2020 capacity. China is expected to leapfrog the European Union and the UK to have the largest cumulative offshore wind capacity by the turn of the year.

However, the report warns that without stronger policies, global additions are expected to remain stable next year compared to this year.

“We cannot afford to ignore either today’s global energy crisis or the climate crisis, but the good news is that we do not need to choose between them – we can tackle both at the same time,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

“A massive surge in investment to accelerate clean energy transitions is the only lasting solution. This kind of investment is rising, but we need a much faster increase to ease the pressure on consumers from high fossil fuel prices, make our energy systems more secure and get the world on track to reach our climate goals.”


Article originally published by World Economic Forum

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