Renewable energy capacity reached 2,351GW by the end of last year

IRENA’s annual Renewable Capacity Statistics 2019, the most comprehensive, up-to-date and accessible figures on renewable energy capacity indicates growth in all regions of the world, although at varying speeds.
Renewables now account for a third of all power capacity installed around the world.

That’s according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which shows total renewable energy generation capacity reached 2,351GW by the end of last year.

Hydropower makes up around half of this figure at 1,172GW, followed by wind power and solar energy with 564 GW and 480 GW respectively.

Other renewable sources included 121GW of bioenergy, 13GW of geothermal energy and 500MW of marine energy.

The report shows 2018 saw 171GW of renewable energy capacity added to global grids – this year-on-year increase of 7.9% was bolstered by new additions from solar and wind energy, which accounted for 84% of the growth.

Growth was fastest in Oceania, which recorded a 17.7% rise in capacity during 2018.

It was followed by Asia, which accounted for 61% of total new renewable energy installations and grew its clean capacity by 11.4%, with Africa’s 8.4% growth putting it in third place.

Growth in hydropower continued to slow in 2018, with only China adding significant new capacity. The report also highlights a relatively low level of bioenergy capacity expansion and geothermal energy growth.

IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, said: “Through its compelling business case, renewable energy has established itself as the technology of choice for new power generation capacity.

“The strong growth in 2018 continues the remarkable trend of the last five years, which reflects an ongoing shift towards renewable power as the driver of global energy transformation.”
Highlights by technology:

Hydropower: Growth in hydro continued to slow in 2018, with only China adding a significant amount of new capacity in 2018 (+8.5 GW).

Wind energy: Global wind energy capacity increased by 49 GW in 2017. China and the USA continued to account for the greatest share of wind energy expansion, with increases of 20 GW and 7 GW respectively. Other countries expanding by more than 1 GW were: Brazil; France; Germany; India; and the UK.

Solar energy: Solar energy capacity increased by 94 GW last year (+ 24 percent). Asia continued to dominate global growth with a 64 GW increase (about 70% of the global expansion in 2018). Maintaining the trend from last year, China, India, Japan and the Republic of Korea accounted for most of this. Other major increases were in the USA (+8.4 GW), Australia (+3.8 GW) and Germany (+3.6 GW). Other countries with significant expansions in 2018 included: Brazil; Egypt; Pakistan; Mexico, Turkey and the Netherlands.

Globally, total renewable energy generation capacity reached 2,351 GW at the end of last year – around a third of total installed electricity capacity. Hydropower accounts for the largest share with an installed capacity of 1,172 GW – around half of the total. Wind and solar energy account for most of the remainder with capacities of 564 GW and 480 GW respectively.