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Renewable energy to dominate worldwide electricity capacity

According to the International Energy Agency, the next few years will see renewable energy dominate worldwide electricity capacity which will be lead by solar and wind.


Renewables Added Capacity

IEA’s “Renewable Energy Market Update 2021” report said that last 2020 the capacity added from renewable energy increased to 45% to almost 280GW. This is the highest annual increase since 1999.Average annual net renewable capacity additions, 2011-2022

Source: IEA: Renewable Energy Market Update 2021

Solar PV is seen to continue its fast growth with annual additions reaching 162GW by 2022, almost 50% higher than 2019. Capacity from Wind will also increase by more than 90% reaching 114GW and though the annual market growth for Wind slows in 2021 and 2022, it is still 50% higher than the 2017-2019 average


Exceptionally high capacity additions is the new normal

The report also foresees that this “Exceptionally high capacity additions” will become the “new normal” in 2021 and 2022 and will make up 90% of all new power capacity expansion worldwide.

Source: IEA: Renewable Energy Market Update 2021

Capacity added from Wind is expected to decrease in 2021-2022 but still, is expected to add 80GW of annual installations globally which is 35% more than in 2019. Solar PV will continue to break records with annual expansion expected to reach 145GW in 2021 and 162GW in 2022 accounting for almost 55% of all renewable energy expansion. Additions from Hydropower will also accelerate due to mega-scale projects in China, and other renewables led by bioenergy is expected to have a stable growth representing 3% of new renewable energy capacity added.

Growth forecast by region for 2021 and 2022

Annual renewable capacity additions by country and region, 2017-2022

Source: IEA: Renewable Energy Market Update 2021

Capacity additions in Europe is forecast to increase by 11% to 44GW in 2021 and 49%GW. This growth is driven by member countries extending their policies to meet the EU 2030 climate target and a thriving corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) market.

The forecast for the United States is also optimistic due to federal tax credit extensions for wind and solar PV. Because of this, IEA forecast onshore wind to increase by 25% for 2021 and 2022.

India however, was seen to have capacity additions decline by almost 50% due to the construction delays and grid connection challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the ASEAN region, Vietnam let the region’s growth with a rapid solar PV expansion adding a record 13GW in 2020, 60% higher than 2019.


One thought on “Renewable energy to dominate worldwide electricity capacity”

  1. Gerrit Jan Groeneveld says:

    Where to store all that electricity Solar delivers between 10:00 and 15:00, wind has its variations of 4 to 6 hours. Can’t be all Lithium batteries. Store as hydrogen, with roundtrip efficiencies of 30% isn’t effective. There are solutions, always, but must be addressed.

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Maxime Droit CEO at REURASIA Energy Solutions Biomasss Construction & Commissioning Expert

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