International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released new data on renewable energy, which showed that the trend of strong growth in renewable energy capacity continued in 2018 with additions of 171GW across the world.

3Apr - IRENA

Image: Total renewable energy generation capacity across the world has reached 2,351GW. Photo: Courtesy of IRENA - International Renewable Energy Agency.

The additions from solar and wind energy have boosted the annual increase of 7.9% and accounted for 84% of the growth, making one third of the power capacity across the world coming from renewable sources, according to the Renewable Capacity Statistics 2019 released by IRENA.

According to the figures, Asia has contributed a 61% of total new renewable energy installations and helped the growth of installed renewables capacity by 11.4% and Africa stood in third place just behind Asia with 8.4% growth.

Furthermore, the growth in renewables was fastest in Oceania that witnessed a 17.7% increase in 2018 and emerging and developing economies have contributed the two-thirds of all new power generation capacity added in 2018.

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.

“Renewable energy deployment needs to grow even faster, however, to ensure that we can achieve the global climate objectives and Sustainable Development Goals,” continued Mr. Amin. “Countries taking full advantage of their renewables potential will benefit from a host of socioeconomic benefits in addition to decarbonising their economies.”

IRENA has also compared the growth in generation capacity of renewables versus non-renewable energy, focusing on fossil-fuels and nuclear energy.

The comparison showed that non-renewable generation capacity has decreased in Europe, North America and Oceania by approximately 85GW since 2010, while increased in both Asia and the Middle East over the same period.

On an average, non-renewable generation capacity has increased by approximately 115GW per annum since 2000, with no noticeable trend towards upwards or downwards.

IRENA said that total renewable energy generation capacity across the world has reached 2,351GW at the end of 2018 that forms approximately one third of total installed electricity capacity.