Tags Posts tagged with "renewable energies"

renewable energies

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The renewable energy market in Europe broke two barriers in 2018; with supply of Guarantees of Origin nearly reaching 600 TWh – and demand surpassing 500 TWh, according to ECOHZ, commenting on new statistics from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB). The European renewable energy market with Guarantees of Origin continued to grow and seemed like a market more balanced and mature than earlier.

Comparing the first half year supply and demand of Guarantees of Origin for 2019 with comparable figures in 2018, shows supply is growing by 14 TWh while demand grew significantly faster, with 60 TWh.

Netherlands and France with record high numbers – first half of 2019

The Netherlands has over the years installed a large amount of new wind and solar capacity and this is now impacting the volume of Guarantees of Origin issued during H1 2019. An increase of 9 TWh is almost a doubling compared to issued volumes in H1 2018.

France had a 5 TWh increase in issued volumes from H1 2018 to H1 2019 as a result of many more power plants now being able to issue Guarantees of Origin after ended feed-in-tariff periods. The demand still increased faster and grew with 9 TWh.

Dry weather in Norway during the first half of 2019 led to lower hydro power production than normal. This again is likely to further push down Norway’s share of issued Guarantees of Origin in Europe, from a 22% share in 2018 and 27% share in 2017. The Norwegian share of the total production mix has been declining the last year showing evidence of a more robust and diversified European market.

Wind is the fastest growing technology

Hydropower is still the most common technology of issued Guarantees of Origin in Europe with a supply share of 56% in 2018, compared to 64% in 2017 – but changes are occurring rapidly due to increased availability of solar and wind.

New countries will push the market forward

AIB currently has 21 member countries. Portugal and Greece are next in line, and have indicated interest in joining the AIB, and its electronic hub. Even more countries are likely to join the AIB in 2020 and will all-in-all likely bring more supply to the European renewable energy market. In parallel ECOHZ also expects a growing demand for renewable electricity from corporations and households, pushing the market to new heights.

Guarantees of Origin prices

During 2018, Guarantees of Origin prices were at historic high levels – with prices trading at EUR 1.0–2.5 for standard qualities.The combination of steady growth in demand and higher prices seemed to be a wake-up call for many stakeholders, consumers and policy makers. These price levels combined with increased sold volumes resulted in significantly higher market value. How to capture these revenue streams and ensure reinvestments in new renewable capacity became a hot topic. The market has now adjusted, and currently Guarantees of Origin 2019 wind wholesale price is EUR 0.40 – 0.50 and for 2020 EUR 0.75 – 0.85 per MWh.

According to ECOHZ Europe will need 500 TWh of annual renewable power from 2020 to 2030, requiring a lot of investments and initiatives. The cost of renewable energy is still falling, but at the same time the prevalence of national subsidy and support schemes are on the decline. Guarantees of Origin are set to fill the gap for investors, and ECOHZ therefore believes higher prices will be the norm, and with a price collapse not a likely scenario. With a 2020 price around EUR 1.0, slowly increasing toward EUR 2.0-2.5 in 2030, a cash flow of EUR 20 billion will be available to be invested in new renewables.

More and more businesses commit to renewable energy

The corporate sector is the main driver for renewable electricity although households and organisations also contribute to the market growth. An increasing number of businesses see renewable energy as necessary for future competitiveness – to attract customers, employees and investors. Several sustainability initiatives support renewable ambitions, but the most important is RE100. RE100 is a global initiative of over 190 influential corporates committed to consume 100% renewable electricity. The members purchase a huge number of Guarantees of Origin for their operations in Europe.

Source: ECOHZ

Commissioned by the Ecuadorean government to resolve a complex environmental issue confronting the Galapagos Islands, one that threatened the biological sanctuary’s UNESCO designation as a world heritage site, Siemens has developed a hybrid electricity generation system using renewable fuels that could serve as a model for clean power in decades to come.

The issue revolved around replacing the highly pollutive electric power system on Isabela Island, the largest of the national park’s 21 islands and the launch pad for tens of thousands of global tourists who each year take boat tours of the archipelago and its wondrous wildlife.

UNESCO was worried not only about the pollution but the risks incurred by the delivery of the plant’s diesel fuel by ship from the mainland 600 miles away. In recent years, two big fuel loads were spilled during the transfer from ship to power plant, fouling the island’s coastline and threatening the fragile ecosystem. The United Nations cultural agency put Ecuador on notice that a cleaner electric power solution had to be found or the Galapagos could lose its coveted “world patrimony” distinction.

Ecuador, with the key support from the German government, issued an invitation to global engineering companies to submit bids to design a reliable, environmentally clean system using renewable fuels, but the technical and logistical challenges of building and maintaining such as system on a remote island proved formidable. In the end, Siemens was the only bidder. Its proposal: A “hybrid” power plant that combined solar power generation with a biofuels power component that used a little known nut as its power source.

At just 1.2 MW of maximum capacity, Siemens’ proposal was for a power plant with a tiny fraction of the generational power the company is accustomed to building.

The hybrid’s system’s renewable technology consists of three main components: A 952-kW solar energy “farm” consisting of some 3,024 photovoltaic panels; a 1625 kW biodiesel generation system made up of five 325-kW generation sets, and a battery storage element can add 660 kW instantaneously when needed. Tying it all together is a unique control system that Siemens is showcasing at Isabela. It includes proprietary software to manage, among other functions, the energy flows to and from the batteries.

The system has been fully operational since October – but only after an extensive testing period at pilot projects in Ecuador and at a mock-up in Germany. Installing the project with its 600 tof machinery and construction material was a massive undertaking, made unusually complex by the fact that there are no quays or jetties in the Isabela island to which vessels can moor.

The new hybrid power plant has already delivered dramatic environmental benefits. Because it avoided burning 33,000 liters of diesel that fueled the old plant each month, the new power plant saved 88 t of CO2 emissions and one fuel delivery during October. Moreover, the new plant is much less noisy, operating at an average reduction of 30 dB, which is the perceived difference between a jigsaw and a conversation at low volume. And the system proved to be reliable, operating at 99% capacity.

A novel aspect of the project’s biodiesel component is its use of Jatropha, also known as Barbados nut, as the fuel source. The nut, which grows in tropical areas in several South American countries including Ecuador, consists of 40% oil that can be processed into a high quality biodiesel. But the nut heretofore was relatively untested and so more than 5,000 liters of the fuel were sent to Germany for prior testing before final approval. The entire system underwent a six-weeks trial at a mock-up near Hamburg last year, demonstrating the accurate operation of the plant even before being shipped to its final destination.

The special aspects of such a novel type hybrid power plant demand a high degree of reliability to power a complete island as a single source. Commissioning went without issues, and with the extensive R&D work invested into the development of the solution and the prolonged and intensive testing, Siemens was able to guarantee the performance of the hybrid power plant. A remote monitoring of the plant from Austin/Texas and Munich/Germany makes Siemens’ whole expertise in energy generation available to the local operators of the plant.

A Jatropha processing plant staffed by a local cooperative has been set up in Ecuador’s coastal region of Manabi to supply the new Isabela power plant with biofuel – which unlike fossil fuels would degrade relatively quickly if a spill during transport were to occur.

The result is a system that Siemens describes as unique in the world for its “high penetration,” a reference to the fact that the photovoltaic power the system generates during the day exceeds Isabela Island’s current power demand. In addition, excess PV energy generated will be stored in the battery system, allowing the complete shutdown of generation sets, providing daytime stability and giving the biodiesel power units time to start when the clouds come.

Source: Siemens

Renewable energy, the only way forward to the global climate change mitigation and environmental requirements, is expected to comprise 50% of Chile’s power mix by 2030, according to GlobalData The company’s latest report, ‘Chile Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape’, reveals that the development of renewable energy is a high priority for Chile. In 2018, the share of non-hydro renewable power reached 19% of the power mix and is expected to exceed 50% of the power mix by 2030.

It is expected that with the growth of renewable energy sources in the future, the gas based power capacity in the country will increase from 48% of the thermal power capacity in 2018 to 55% by 2030.

Chile is now a net exporter of electricity, signifying that the increasing share of renewables and gas based power in the electricity mix will make up for the capacity vacuum resulting from the decommissioning of certain coal capacity by 2030.

Thermal power dominated Chile’s power mix in 2018 with a share of 52.7% of the total installed capacity, followed by hydro and renewable with a share of 28.1% and 19.1% respectively. In the renewable energy mix the major contributors are solar PV and wind with shares of 50.8% and 33.8% respectively in 2018.

Power consumption in Chile increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% between 2010 and 2018 due to increased economic activity.

Chile recognized the need for energy storage as a key attribute to provide continuous, sustainable and reliable renewable power. As such, Chile is looking to energy storage technologies such as batteries, pumped hydro, molten salts and hydrogen as their immediate opportunity areas. The country has also implemented transmission expansion plans to incorporate ease in transmitting the renewable energy.

Chile is a land of opportunities for renewable energy. The Energy 2050 Roadmap, large-scale energy storage solutions, grid modernization and the retirement of the fossil fuel plants are the crucial elements expected to drive Chile’s energy transition. The country is also extending their relations with US to strengthen the infrastructure investment and energy cooperation between the two countries, thus with flexible environmental approvals, several investors would consider investing in its power sector.

Source: GlobalData

Aracati Park

The overall renewable power capacity in Brazil is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% from 31 GW in 2018 to 60.8GW in 2030, according to GlobalData.

GlobalData’s latest report: “Brazil Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape” reveals that increased renewable energy auctions, promotion of hybrid renewable energy projects and other government initiatives such as tax incentives, smart metering, renewable energy targets and favorable grid access policies for renewable energy are likely to result in renewable expansion by 2030.

Between 2019 and 2030, solar PV and onshore wind segments are expected to grow at CAGRs of 14% and 6%, respectively. The significant rise in these two technologies will result in renewable energy being the second largest contributor to the country’s energy mix by 2030.

The connection of over 25,000 power systems, mostly solar PV systems to the Brazilian grid in mid-2018 under the net metering scheme, further underpins the renewable growth pattern over the forecast period.

The main challenges for Brazil’s power sector are its overdependence on cheap hydropower for base-load capacity and lack of a robust power grid infrastructure. In 2018, hydropower accounted for 62.7% of the country’s total installed capacity. In case of a drought, depletion of dam reservoirs could result in power shortages and switching over to costly thermal power which will increase the electricity prices.

In the long term, hydropower capacity is expected to decline and be compensated with increased renewable power capacity. On the other hand, thermal and renewable capacities are slated to increase and contribute 28% and 18%, respectively of the installed capacity in 2030.

Brazil is moving towards a balanced energy mix as it prepares to double its non-hydro renewable power capacity by 2030. With an almost 10GW increase in thermal power capacity by 2030 compared to 2018, the country is on course to better manage peak demand, reduce dependence on hydropower and maintain a healthy grid.

Source: Globaldata

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Global clean energy investment, 2004 to 1H 2019, $ billion

The first half of 2019 saw a 39% slowdown in renewable energy investment in the world’s biggest market, China, to $28.800 M$, the lowest figure for any half-year period since 2013, according to the latest figures from BloombergNEF (BNEF).


The other highlight of global clean energy investment in 1H 2019 was the financing of multibillion-dollar projects in two relatively new markets – a solar thermal and photovoltaic complex in Dubai, at 950MW and 4.200 M$, and two offshore wind arrays in the sea off Taiwan, at 640MW and 900MW and an estimated combined cost of 5.700 M$.

The Dubai deal in late March, for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum IV project, is the biggest financing ever seen in the solar sector. It involves 2.600 M$ of debt from 10 Chinese, Gulf and Western banks, plus 1.600 M$ of equity from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Saudi-based developer ACWA Power and equity partner Silk Road Fund of China.

The two Taiwanese offshore wind projects, Wpd Yunlin Yunneng and Ørsted Greater Changhua, involve European developers, investors and banks, as well as local players. Offshore wind activity is broadening its geographical focus, from Europe’s North Sea and China’s coastline, toward new markets such as Taiwan, the U.S. East Coast, India and Vietnam.

BNEF’s figures for clean energy investment in the first half of 2019 show mixed fortunes for the world’s major markets. The “big three” of China, the U.S. and Europe all showed falls, but with the U.S. down a modest 6% at 23.600 M$ and Europe down 4% at 22.200 M$ compared to 1H 2018, far less than China’s 39% setback.

Breaking global clean energy investment down by type of transaction, asset finance of utility-scale generation projects such as wind farms and solar parks was down 24% at 85.6 M$, due in large part to the China factor. Financing of small-scale solar systems of less than 1MW was up 32% at 23.7 M$ in the first half of this year.

Investment in specialist clean energy companies via public markets was 37% higher at 5.600 M$, helped by two big equity raisings for electric vehicle makers – an $863 M$ secondary issue for Tesla, and a 650 M$ convertible issue for China-based NIO.

Venture capital and private equity funding of clean energy companies in 1H 2019 was down 2% at 4.700 M$. There were three exceptionally large deals, however: $1 billion each for Swedish battery company Northvolt and U.S. electric vehicle battery charging specialist Lucid Motors, and 700 M$ for another U.S. EV player, Rivian Automotive.

Source: BNEF

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Eleven million people were employed in renewable energy worldwide in 2018 according to the latest analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This compares with 10.3 million in 2017. As more and more countries manufacture, trade and install renewable energy technologies, the latest Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review finds that renewables jobs grew to their highest level despite slower growth in key renewable energy markets including China.

The diversification of the renewable energy supply chain is changing the sector’s geographic footprint. Until now, renewable energy industries have remained relatively concentrated in a handful of major markets, such as China, the United States and the European Union. Increasingly, however, East and Southeast Asian countries have emerged alongside China as key exporters of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Countries including Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam were responsible for a greater share of growth in renewables jobs last year, which allowed Asia to maintain a 60 per cent share of renewable energy jobs worldwide.

Beyond climate goals, governments are prioritising renewables as a driver of low-carbon economic growth in recognition of the numerous employment opportunities created by the transition to renewables,” said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA. “Renewables deliver on all main pillars of sustainable development – environmental, economic and social. As the global energy transformation gains momentum, this employment dimension reinforces the social aspect of sustainable development and provides yet another reason for countries to commit to renewables.

PV and wind remain the most dynamic of all renewable energy industries. Accounting for one-third of the total renewable energy workflow, solar PV retains the top spot in 2018, ahead of liquid biofuels, hydropower, and wind power. Geographically, Asia hosts over three million PV jobs, nearly nine-tenths of the global total.

Most of the wind industry’s activity still occurs on land and is responsible for the bulk of the sector’s 1.2 million jobs. China alone accounts for 44 per cent of global wind employment, followed by Germany and the United States. Offshore wind could be an especially attractive option for leveraging domestic capacity and exploiting synergies with the oil and gas industry.


Renewable energy jobs highlights:

  • The solar PV industry retains the top spot, with a third of the total renewable energy workforce. In 2018, PV employment expanded in India, Southeast Asia and Brazil, while China, the United States, Japan and the European Union lost jobs.
  • Rising output pushed biofuel jobs up 6% to 2.1 million. Brazil, Colombia, and Southeast Asia have labour-intensive supply chains where informal work is prominent, whereas operations in the United States and the European Union are far more mechanised.
  • Employment in wind power supports 1.2 million jobs. Onshore projects predominate, but the offshore segment is gaining traction and could build on expertise and infrastructure in the offshore oil and gas sector.
  • Hydropower has the largest installed capacity of all renewables but is now expanding slowly. The sector employs 2.1 million people directly, three quarters of whom are in operations and maintenance.

Source: IRENA

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Renewable energy is the cheapest source of electricity in many parts of the world already today, the latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows. The report contributes to the international discussion on raising climate action worldwide, ahead of Abu Dhabi’s global preparatory meeting for the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September. With prices set to fall, the cost advantage of renewables will extend further, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018 says. This will strengthen the business case and solidify the role of renewables as the engine of the global energy transformation.

Renewable energy is the backbone of any development that aims to be sustainable”, said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera. “We must do everything we can to accelerate renewables if we are to meet the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement. Today’s report sends a clear signal to the international community: Renewable energy provides countries with a low-cost climate solution that allows for scaling up action. To fully harness the economic opportunity of renewables, IRENA will work closely with our members and partners to facilitate on-the-ground solutions and concerted action that will result in renewable energy projects.

The costs for renewable energy technologies decreased to a record low last year. The global weighted-average cost of electricity from concentrating solar power (CSP) declined by 26%, bioenergy by 14%, solar PV and onshore wind by 13%, hydropower by 12% and geothermal and offshore wind by 1%, respectively.


Cost reductions, particularly for solar and wind power technologies, are set to continue into the next decade, the new report finds. According to IRENA’s global database, over three-quarters of the onshore wind and four-fifths of the solar PV capacity that is due to be commissioned next year will produce power at lower prices than the cheapest new coal, oil or natural gas options. Crucially, they are set to do so without financial assistance.

Onshore wind and solar PV costs between three and four US cents per kilowatt hour are already possible in areas with good resources and enabling regulatory and institutional frameworks. For example, record-low auction prices for solar PV in Chile, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have seen a levelised cost of electricity as low as three US cents per kilowatt hour (USD 0.03/kWh).

Electrification on the basis of cost-competitive renewables is the backbone of the energy transformation and a key low-cost decarbonisation solution in support of the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement.

Source: IRENA

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Master D, a company with 25 years of experience dedicated to training professionals in the renewable energy sector, offers educational programmes that aim to ensure that their students gain entry into the job market. It provides an open, student-orientated training so that they can study online, with a state-of-the-art virtual campus and the possibility of undertaking practical classes in specialised classrooms at the MasterD centres distributed all over Spain.

The MasterD Technological Institute offers professional Master’s Degrees in renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as more specialised training such as courses in Wind Power, Solar PV and Thermal Energy.

Training in such an up-to-the-minute and important field such as Renewables must be constantly updated as this industry, as with the specialisations such as automation and communications, is undergoing constant change, driven by the technological advances that are taking place at a dizzying pace.

MASTERD-2New technologies such as lithium batteries for solar applications that are going to revolutionise the market with their extremely high levels of efficiency, several thousand service life cycles, the absence of memory effect, zero maintenance and many other advantages, must all feature in the training provided.

MasterD has committed to introducing this technology into its training programme as it becomes more widespread and over time becomes the new standard in solar batteries.

In addition, “we are going to introduce MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) regulators into our content, as they are much more efficient than the conventional PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), which are almost obsolete and will soon be replaced”, explains MasterD.

MasterD also uses the latest versions of calculation programmes, such as PVSol and TSol, for its renewables courses as well as communication programmes with solar inverters, such as the VE Configure programme, which offer a far better understanding of the parameters and concepts relating to inverters and solar chargers.

As a result of recent changes to the legislation on self-consumption, as from this summer, there is going to be a new solar boom and the demand of companies for specialised profiles to cover their needs will become a frequent occurrence. Such profiles include solar power engineers and technicians with specialised qualifications, such as the Professional Master in Renewable Energy for which MasterD has an increasing number of successful students that find work thanks to the fact that it involves a very specialist training.

In addition, MasterD continues to actively collaborate with leading companies in the renewables sector, both in the distribution of PV material, such as Sumsol, or directly with manufacturers such as Ferrol, Ingeteam and, in the near future, GoodWe. We also offer workshops and practical seminars that will teach topical content, such as the above self-consumption of solar power, which is currently the talk of the town.

But best of all is that the students of the MasterD Technological Institute can carry out internships at these and at many other renewables companies, in addition to having automatic access to exclusive job offers for MasterD students.

If you would like to find out more about self-consumption, we recommend you watch the following video; and if you are interested in receiving training in this sector, with its fantastic future prospects, make sure that you find out about the courses taught by the leading companies in the sector offered by the MasterD centre.

Despite significant progress in recent years, the world is falling short of meeting the global energy targets set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030. Ensuring affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 remains possible but will require more sustained efforts, particularly to reach some of the world’s poorest populations and to improve energy sustainability, according to a new report produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA) the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Notable progress has been made on energy access in recent years, with the number of people living without electricity dropping to roughly 840 million from 1 billion in 2016 and 1.2 billion in 2010. India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Myanmar are among countries that made the most progress since 2010. However, without more sustained and stepped-up actions, 650 million people will still be left without access to electricity in 2030. Nine out of 10 of them will be living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report also shows that great efforts have been made to deploy renewable energy technology for electricity generation and to improve energy efficiency across the world. Nonetheless, access to clean cooking solutions and the use of renewable energy in heat generation and transport are still lagging far behind the goals. Maintaining and extending the pace of progress in all regions and sectors will require stronger political commitment, long-term energy planning, increased private financing and adequate policy and fiscal incentives to spur faster deployment of new technologies.

The report tracks global, regional and country progress on the three targets of SDG7: access to energy and clean cooking, renewable energy and energy efficiency. It identifies priorities for action and best practices that have proven successful in helping policymakers and development partners understand what is needed to overcome challenges.

Here are the key highlights for each target. Findings are based on official national-level data and measure global progress through 2017.

Access to electricity: Following a decade of steady progress, the global electrification rate reached 89 percent and 153 million people gained access to electricity each year. However, the biggest challenge remains in the most remote areas globally and in sub-Saharan Africa where 573 million people still live in the dark. To connect the poorest and hardest to reach households, off-grid solutions, including solar lighting, solar home systems, and increasingly mini grids, will be crucial. Globally, at least 34 million people in 2017 gained access to basic electricity services through off-grid technologies. The report also reinforces the importance of reliability and affordability for sustainable energy access.

Clean cooking: Almost three billion people remain without access to clean cooking in 2017, residing mainly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This lack of clean cooking access continues to pose serious health and socioeconomic concerns. Under current and planned policies, the number of people without access would be 2.2 billion in 2030, with significant impact on health, environment, and gender equality.

Renewables accounted for 17.5% of global total energy consumption in 2016 versus 16.6% in 2010. Renewables have been increasing rapidly in electricity generation but have made less headway into energy consumption for heat and transport. A substantial further increase of renewable energy is needed for energy systems to become affordable, reliable and sustainable, focusing on modern uses. As renewables become mainstream, policies need to cover the integration of renewables into the broader energy system and take into account the socio-economic impacts affecting the sustainability and pace of the transition.

Energy efficiency improvements have been more sustained in recent years, thanks to concerted policy efforts in large economies. However, the global rate of primary energy intensity improvement still lags behind, and estimates suggest there has been a significant slowdown in 2017 and 2018. Strengthening mandatory energy efficiency policies, providing targeted fiscal or financial incentives, leveraging market-based mechanisms, and providing high-quality information about energy efficiency will be central to meet the goal.

Source: IEA, IRENA, UNSD,World Bank, WHO

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After nearly two decades of strong annual growth, renewables around the world added as much net capacity in 2018 as they did in 2017, an unexpected flattening of growth trends that raises concerns about meeting long-term climate goals.

Last year was the first time since 2001 that growth in renewable power capacity failed to increase year on year. New net capacity from solar PV, wind, hydro, bioenergy, and other renewable power sources increased by about 180 GW in 2018, the same as the previous year, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest data.

That’s only around 60% of the net additions needed each year to meet long-term climate goals. Renewable capacity additions need to grow by over 300 GW on average each year between 2018 and 2030 to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, according to the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS).

But the IEA’s analysis shows the world is not doing enough. Last year, energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.7% to a historic high of 33 Gt. Despite a growth of 7% in renewables electricity generation, emissions from the power sector grew to record levels.

Since 2015, global solar PV’s exponential growth had been compensating for slower increases in wind and hydropower. But solar PV’s growth flattened in 2018, adding 97 GW of capacity and falling short of expectations it would surpass the symbolic 100 GW mark. The main reason was a sudden change in China’s solar PV incentives to curb costs and address grid integration challenges to achieve more sustainable PV expansion. Moreover, lower wind additions in the European Union and India also contributed to stalling renewable capacity growth in 2018.

China added 44 GW of solar PV in 2018, compared with 53 GW in 2017. Growth was stable in the United States, but solar PV additions increased in the European Union, Mexico, the Middle East and Africa, which together compensated for the slowdown in China.

Despite slower solar PV growth, China accounted for almost 45% of the total capacity increase in renewable electricity last year. With new transmission lines and higher electricity demand, China’s wind additions picked up last year, but hydropower expansion continued to slow, maintaining a trend observed since 2013.

Capacity additions in the European Union, the second-largest market for renewables, saw a slight decline. Solar PV grew compared with the previous year, while wind additions slowed down. Policy transition challenges and changing renewable incentives resulted in slower growth of onshore wind in India and of solar PV in Japan.

In the United States, the third-largest market, renewable capacity additions increased slightly in 2018, mainly driven by faster onshore wind expansion while solar PV growth was flat.

Renewable capacity expansion accelerated in many emerging economies and developing countries in the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia, led by wind and solar PV as a result of rapid cost declines.

Governments can accelerate the growth in renewables by addressing policy uncertainties and ensuring cost-effective system integration of wind and solar. Reducing risks affecting clean energy investment in developing countries, especially in Africa, will also be critical.

Source: IEA