According to the latest data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), 2020 witnessed more than 260 GW of renewable capacity additions globally. These massive capacity additions have exceeded the 2019 installations by roughly 50 per cent despite the slowdowns on account of the covid-19 pandemic. In terms of total installed renewable power capacity worldwide, there has been a 10.3 per cent rise when compared to 2019.
IRENA’s annual Renewable Capacity Statistics 2021 shows that more than 80 per cent of all new power generating capacity added in 2020 across the globe was renewable based. Total fossil fuel additions were 60 GW which is lower when compared to 64 GW of installations in 2019. This indicates a continued downward trend in fossil fuel capacity additions when compared to renewables which are on the rise. Solar and wind accounting for 91 per cent of new renewable installations.
By the end of 2020, 2,799 GW of total renewable power capacity has been installed globally. Hydropower with 1,211 GW of total installations accounts for the largest share. However, wind and solar power are witnessing a rapid increase in installed capacity with wind and solar witnessing 127 GW and 111 GW of new capacity additions in 2020 respectively.
China and the United States were the leading renewable energy markets in 2020. China, which has the highest renewable energy capacity worldwide witnessed 136 GW of capacity additions in 2020 out of which 72 GW was from wind and 49 GW from solar. The United States installed 29 GW of renewables last year with 15 GW of solar and around 14 GW of wind.