IEA: ‘fastest growth of renewable energy in 20 years’
According to a new report of the International Energy Agency (IEA), last year, renewable energy capacity increased at the highest pace in twenty years. Especially China contributed to the growth.
In 2020, China’s part of renewable energy represented 50%. Moreover, renewables were the only energy source for which demand increased in 2020 despite the pandemic, while consumption of all other fuels declined.
In 2020, the annual renewable capacity additions increased by 45% to almost 280 GW. This was more than the year before, and the highest growth since 1999. Exceptionally high capacity additions will become the ‘new normal’ in the coming years, with renewables accounting for 90% of new power capacity expansion globally. According to estimations, this year’s capacity will represent 270 GW; next year, almost 280 GW.
Last year, the installation of wind turbines almost doubled to 114 GW. The installation of new solar panels will also continue to break records, with annual additions reaching 162 GW by 2022 – almost 50% higher than the pre-pandemic level of 2019.
Transport biofuel production is expected to rebound to 2019 volumes in 2021 after falling 8% in 2020. Production is also forecast to expand another 7% in 2022.
More CO2 emissions
Mainly driven by clean fuel standards and policy support in the US, global Hydrotreated Vegetal Oil (HVO) production capacity is expected to nearly double in the next two years, significantly expanding the capability of producing biofuels from waste and residue feedstocks.
However, CO2 emissions will increase as well, IEA notes. An explanation for it is the increased use of coal. According to the agency, significant policy changes and investments in clean energy will be needed to meet climate goals.