Renewable capacity installations surged by almost 50% last year as global renewable energy capacity hit nearly 510 gigawatts (GW), led by solar photovoltaics and a jump in new Chinese installations.
New renewable capacity saw the fastest growth rate in the past two decades, and 2023 was the 22nd year in a row that renewable capacity additions have set a new record, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a new report on Thursday.
The agency noted that renewable capacity growth in Europe, the United States, and Brazil hit all-time highs, but China outshined all with an “extraordinary” acceleration in installations.
Last year, China commissioned as much solar PV as the entire world did in 2022, while its wind additions jumped by 66% year-on-year. Globally, solar PV alone accounted for three-quarters of renewable capacity additions, the IEA’s report showed.
OilPrice.com reports that in June 2023, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said “This year, the world is set to add a record-breaking amount of renewables to electricity systems – more than the total power capacity of Germany and Spain combined.”
“The energy crisis has turbocharged demand for both large-scale plants & rooftop solar,” the IEA’s top executive added.
Investment in solar power generation was set to eclipse investment in oil production in 2023 for the first time ever, the IEA said in May 2023.
In its latest report today, the IEA said: “The world’s capacity to generate renewable electricity is expanding faster than at any time in the last three decades, giving it a real chance of achieving the goal of tripling global capacity by 2030 that governments set at the COP28 climate change conference last month.”
“The new IEA report shows that under current policies and market conditions, global renewable capacity is already on course to increase by two-and-a-half times by 2030,” Birol said in a statement.
“It’s not enough yet to reach the COP28 goal of tripling renewables, but we’re moving closer – and governments have the tools needed to close the gap.”