In 2021, the world added a record amount of 295 gigawatts of renewable power. According to the International Energy Agency, it is on pace to surpass that amount in 2022.
Almost half of the renewable buildout in the world is taking place in China. In 2021, China accounted for 46% of worldwide renewable energy additions. The EU and United States are the next two leaders. The rapid buildup is especially impressive given the challenges developers have faced from the coronavirus pandemic, supply chain issues, and various construction delays.
Predictions are that the global total added this year will be about 320 gigawatts of renewables. This amount is equivalent to the total power demands of Germany, which is the world’s fourth-largest economy. Solar photovoltaics are forecast to account for 60% of the increase in global renewable capacity this year.
The rapid growth in China and the EU are driven by strong pro-renewable policies. In our country, wrangling over climate legislation and investigations into potential trade violations by Asian suppliers have held back our progress. But over the next several years, offshore wind will begin to have a real impact on U.S. renewable installations.
According to the report by the International Energy Agency, renewable energy growth is likely to plateau in 2023 unless stronger climate policies are enacted.
There are now more than 3 terawatts – that’s 3,000 gigawatts – of renewable generation capacity globally. This compares with a little over 4,000 terawatts of fossil fuel generation. Global renewable energy generation is currently projected to surpass that of fossil fuels by 2035.
Photo, posted October 17, 2016, courtesy of B Sarangi via Flickr.