Renewable energy has advanced since 2010 to the centre ground of global energy and development policy. Renewables have become the world’s primary source of new power capacity, outpacing all other forms of new generation put together.
The decade-long trend of strong growth in renewable energy capacity continued in 2018 with global additions of 171 gigawatts (GW). The annual increase of 7.9% was bolstered by new additions from solar power and wind energy, which accounted for 84% of the growth. Globally, total renewable energy generation capacity reached 2,351 GW at the end of last year – around a third of total installed electricity capacity. Oceania witnessed the fastest growth with a 17.7% rise in 2018. Asia was second with a 11.4% rise followed by Africa with 8.4% growth. Nearly two-thirds of all new power generation capacity added in 2018 was from renewables, led by emerging and developing economies.
This booklet, produced for the 10th Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), charts global advances over the past decade and outlines key objectives for a new Decade of Action. Graphs and data underline the progress achieved and the illuminate road ahead.
Renewable energy solutions are affordable, readily and deployable at scale. It’s possible to scale up renewables, achieve sustainable development and meet key climate goals.
Among the key findings highlighted:
- Renewables can become the world’s primary source of power generation.
- Renewable power could become the most competitive option based on costs alone.
- Off-grid renewables will help reduce the world’s energy access gap.
- The global energy transformation means net gains in job creation.
- Innovation will accelerate the global energy transformation.
- Renewables must grow faster to meet climate goals.
- Annual investments must double by 2030 to ensure a sustainable future.