Existing renewable energy production capacity worldwide rose last year by 260 GW, or 10.3%, to 2,799 GW, mainly due to investment by China and the United States, the International Renewables Development Agency IRENA said on Monday, Bloomberg reports.
According to IRENA, renewable energy (mainly wind and photovoltaic) was responsible for 82% of the new electricity generation capacity installed in 2020. Only China added renewable energy production capacity of 136 GW, the equivalent of Spain’s total electricity production capacity.
“These figures tell an impressive story. Despite a difficult period, 2020 marks the beginning of a decade of renewables. Costs are falling, clean technology markets are growing and the benefits of the energy transition have never been so clear,” said IRENA’s CEO Francesco La Camera, according to Agerpres.
Despite the increases recorded in recent years, renewable energies are still following other forms of energy production, their share in total capacity rising by only percentage points, compared to 2019, up to 36.6%, said IRENA.
The agency adds that there is still much to be done. The decarbonization process, designed to limit the effects of climate change, will require a tenfold expansion of renewable energy by 2050, an investment of about $4.4 trillion a year.
In 2020, China, the world’s largest polluter, but also the largest green energy market, has built 75 GW of wind power and 49 GW of photovoltaic power, the report said. The US has also installed 29 GW of renewable energy production capacity in 2020, almost 80% more than in 2019.