Global renewable energy capacity surges 9% with Asia leading the way


Global renewable energy capacity surges 9% with Asia leading the way


According to a report released on Monday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), global renewable power capacity increased by 9.1% to 3,064 GW in 2021, as governments focus on reducing emissions to mitigate global warming.

Among total renewable generation capacity, hydropower accounted for the largest share with 1,230 GW, while solar and wind continued to dominate new capacity, stated the report. In 2021, these two technologies accounted for a combined 88% of all newly installed renewable capacity.

Last year, renewables accounted for an all-time high of 81% of overall capacity increase.

“This continued progress is another testament of renewable energy’s resilience. Its strong performance last year represents more opportunities for countries to reap renewables’ multiple socio-economic benefits,” said Francesco La Camera, director general of IRENA.

He added, “Our current energy crisis also adds to the evidence that the world can no longer rely on fossil fuels to meet its energy demand.”

Several countries are constructing new renewable energy projects in order to achieve carbon neutrality in the future decades. The United States, the world’s largest economy, wants to become carbon-neutral by 2050, while China, the world’s second-largest economy, wants to reach net-zero by 2060.

According to the analysis by IRENA, 60% of new renewable capacity was added in Asia in 2021, resulting in a total of 1.46 TW of renewable capacity. China was the most significant contributor, adding 121 GW to the continent’s new capacity, while Europe and North America came in second and third, with the former adding 39 GW and the latter adding 38 GW, respectively.

Renewable energy capacity increased by 3.9% in Africa and 3.3% in Central America and the Caribbean, although at a significantly slower rate than the global average of 6.13%.

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