Global renewable capacity rose by over 260 GW in 2020 (+10%)

7 Apr 2021

The global renewable capacity increased by 10.3% in 2020, when 261 GW of new projects were commissioned, raising the global renewable capacity to 2,799 GW, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Almost two third of the new renewable capacities were installed in Asia (167.6 GW, corresponding to a 15% growth), followed by Europe (+34.3 GW, +6%), North America (+32.1 GW, +8%), South America (+9.4 GW, +4%), Oceania (+6.9 GW, +19%), Eurasia (+6.2 GW, +6%), the Middle east (+1.2 GW, +5%), Africa (+2.6 GW, +5%) and Central America and the Caribbean (+0.3 GW, +2%).

Most of the new capacities (49%) came from solar projects (+127 GW, i.e. a 22% increase in total capacities, including 49.4 GW in China and 11.6 GW in Vietnam) and from wind projects (+111 GW, +18%, including 72.4 GW added in China and 14.2 GW added in the United States). The remainder came from hydropower (+20.6 GW, i.e. +2%, with most of the expansion in China (12 GW)), bioenergy (+2.5 GW, i.e. +2%) and geothermal energy (+164 MW).

At the end of 2020, 43% of the global renewable power capacity consisted in hydropower (1,211 GW), followed by wind power (733 GW, 26%) and solar (714 GW, 26%). The remaining 5% consisted of 127 GW of bioenergy, 14 GW of geothermal and 500 MW of marine energy.

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