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Global renewable generation capacity grows 8.3%, adding 167GW in 2017, says IRENA

EBR Staff Writer Published 06 April 2018

Renewable energy generation across the world in 2017 surged by 8.3%, adding new capacity of 167GW, as per a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The agency’s Renewable Capacity Statistics 2018, which has been compiled based on 15,000 data points from 200 plus countries and territories, reveals the overall operational capacity of renewables has reached to nearly 2,179GW worldwide.

There was a huge growth of 32% in solar photovoltaics (PV) generation to 94GW in 2017, compared to the previous year. This was due to significant cost reductions, with the levelized cost of electricity from solar PV coming down by 73% between 2010 and 2017, said IRENA.

On the other hand, wind power generation grew by 10% in 2017, to nearly 46GW.

Solar energy capacity across the world reached 390.6GW of operational capacity in 2017. Asia dominated the solar industry with a 72GW increase in new power generation capacity with China making up 53GW followed by India (9.6GW) and Japan (7GW).

Wind energy has reached 513GW of operational capacity, of which 494.6GW is from offshore wind projects while offshore wind generation made up 19.2GW. China had seen 15GW of new wind capacity followed by the US and Germany at 6GW each.

New power generation from bioenergy sources has reached 109GW of operational capacity across the world in 2017 while geothermal generation has gone up to 12.9GW. While bioenergy added about 5GW of new capacity across the world in 2017, geothermal energy added nearly 650MW of new capacity in the same period.

As far as the individual countries go, China tops the list, adding almost half of all the new renewable capacity in 2017, at 77MW while taking its overall operational capacity at 618GW.

IRENA director-general Adnan Z. Amin said: “This latest data confirms that the global energy transition continues to move forward at a fast pace, thanks to rapidly falling prices, technology improvements and an increasingly favourable policy environment.

“Renewable energy is now the solution for countries looking to support economic growth and job creation, just as it is for those seeking to limit carbon emissions, expand energy access, reduce air pollution and improve energy security.”

Image: Solar energy generation increased by 32% in 2017, adding 94GW of new capacity. Photo: courtesy of franky242/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.