Renewable energy accounted for the lion’s share of global power expansion last year, outstripping oil and gas growth by more more than double.
The clean energy sector added 176 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity globally in 2019, marginally lower than the 179 GW added in 2018.
New renewable power accounted for 72% of all power expansion last year, according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
Irena’s annual renewable capacity statistics for 2020 found that renewables expanded by 7.6% last year, with Asia dominating growth and accounting for 54% of the total growth.
Despite overall expansion of renewables slowing last year, total renewable power growth outpaced fossil fuel growth by more than double.
Solar and wind contributed around 90% of total renewable capacity added in 2019.
Irena director Francesco La Camera, said: “Renewable energy is a cost-effective source of new power that insulates power markets and consumers from volatility, supports economic stability and stimulates sustainable growth.
“With renewable additions providing the majority of new capacity last year, it is clear that many countries and regions recognise the degree to which the energy transition can deliver positive outcomes.
“While the trajectory is positive, more is required to put global energy on a path with sustainable development and climate mitigation – both of which offer significant economic benefits,” continued Mr. La Camera.
“At this challenging time, we are reminded of the importance of building resilience into our economies. In what must be the decade of action, enabling policies are needed to increase investments and accelerate renewables adoption.”