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renewable energies

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

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

Siemens Finland has created a new business to expand its virtual power plant activity: Vibeco (Virtual Buildings Ecosystem) is an innovative approach to increase the benefits of increasingly decentralized energy systems. The heart of the virtual power plant is a software platform, operated by Siemens, that intelligently balances electrical loads from buildings that have been connected in a microgrid,
incorporating renewable energy and energy storage.

The new virtual power plant (VPP) service platform – a digitized demand-response system – makes it possible for the first time to combine the small electrical loads of buildings or industrial sites, so that building operators can sell energy back to the reserve market, with the ultimate goal to increase the flexibility of the electricity market as a whole.

We are shaping a new market at the grid edge with this technology,” explained Cedrik Neike, Chief Executive Officer Siemens Smart Infrastructure. “Together with the State of Finland, we are pioneering a model for decentralized energy systems to benefit utilities, business and society. The complexity of balancing loads across buildings, the grid and even with eMobility infrastructure requires deep domain expertise in the demand and supply areas.

The VPP service helps balance power consumption, to decrease the need for reserve power and, consequently, cutting carbon dioxide emissions. The Finnish national grid operator, Fingrid, compensates property owners when the VPP feeds energy into the public grid. Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is providing a grant of 8.4 million euros for the required technology investments.

Siemens already has two pilot customers for its VPP approach: Finnish Railways will connect the iconic Helsinki Central Station as well as two train depots in a microgrid to create a virtual power plant.

Renewable energy is challenging the entire energy system. We want to prepare for these changes now,” says Juha Antti Juutinen, Director of Real Estate at Finnish Railways.

Lappeenranta, a city of 75,000 inhabitants close to the Russian border, will kick off with nine public buildings, scaling up to connect 50 more buildings to a city microgrid.

The virtual power plant service decreases the environmental impact of the city and provides additional income,” says Markku Mäki-Hokkonen, development manager of the City of Lappeenranta.

Siemens’ VPP platform leverages the company’s successful energy optimization project at Sello shopping mall, a property of 100.000 m2 space located in the suburbs of Helsinki. Sello’s microgrid combines energy efficiency, storage, optimization of peak loads, and its own electricity production. In addition, supplying extra energy to the reserve market has led to annual income of around 650,000 euros annually for the Sello property owners.

Source: Siemens

Sistema de conversión de potencia de Ingeteam para un proyecto piloto en Dubái, el primer sistema de almacenamiento de energía en EAU acoplado a una planta fotovoltaica a gran escala / Ingeteam's power conversion system (PCS) for a pilot project in Dubai, the first energy storage system paired with a PV plant at a grid-scale level in the UAE. Foto cortesía de /Photo courtesy of: Ingeteam

In a recently published report, Wood Mackenzie projects solar-plus-storage LCOE for both utility-scale and distributed commercial & industrial (C&I) segments to decline considerably over the next five years. As grid resiliency and renewables intermittency continue to be a challenge in Asia Pacific’s power markets, solar-plus-storage could address these issues particularly as solar and battery costs continue to decline.

According to Wood Mackenzie, unsubsidised utility-scale LCOE for a 4-hour lithium-ion solar-plus-storage will command a cost premium between 48% and 123% over solar LCOE in 2019. This will reduce to between 39% and 121% in 2023. By then, solar-plus-storage costs would already be competitive against gas peakers in all the National Electricity Market (NEM) states of Australia. The country’s utility-scale solar-plus-storage LCOE will hover at about 23% above average wholesale electricity price.

Only Thailand is expected to have a utility-scale solar-plus-storage LCOE below the average wholesale electricity price by 2023. While the country does not have a wholesale electricity market, industrial power price taken as a proxy is higher compared to other wholesale markets and hence shows competitive solar-plus-storage economics.

CAPEX subsidies and additional remuneration through different forms of renewables certificate will be crucial for projects to go-ahead.

In general, Wood Mackenzie expects the average solar-plus-storage LCOE in Asia Pacific to decrease 23% from US$133/MWh this year to US$101/MWh in 2023.

On the distributed C&I solar-plus-storage front, the storage premium over solar LCOE is between 56% and 204% this year. In 2023, the cost premium will narrow to between 47% and 167%. The reason for such wide LCOE range is because there are some mature markets where solar cost is extremely competitive while others are not and some in-between. This is due to a mix of labour/ land/ environment/ civil costs, weighted average cost of capital, and procurement methods (tenders vs feed-in tariffs (FIT)). Also, some markets have very well established supply chains with the availability of storage manufacturing.

Unsubsidised C&I solar-plus-storage is expected to be competitive in Australia, India and the Philippines by 2023.

The residential market also poses a great opportunity for solar-plus-storage. In 2018 with the help of government subsidies, Australia’s New South Wales saw a 76% savings on annual electric bills through solar-plus-storage installations. Another attractive residential solar-plus-storage market is Japan. FIT for 600 MW of solar projects is poised to expire this year. As power prices are set to increase, storage retrofits provide an opportunity for home consumers to avoid high residential prices.

Source: Wood Mackenzie

Corrosion is a problem common to many industries which has important implications in offshore industries. The Nessie Project (North Sea Solutions for Innovation in Corrosion for Energy) was designed to analyse and demonstrate corrosion solutions adapted to the offshore renewable energy facilities in the sea environment.

The NeSSIE project was funded by European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and has been developed through cooperation between regions involved in the Vanguard Initiative and more specifically within the Advanced Manufacturing Energy Pilot (ADMA). The partners are from cluster organisations, research institutes and economic and energy development agencies from Scotland (SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE and UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH), Sweden (RISE), Belgium (SIRRIS), Italy (ASTER and LOMBARDY ENERGY CLEANTECH CLUSTER) and Spain (BEC, SPRI and FAEN) with good links to developers and supply chain companies in offshore sectors. The project set up an Industry Advisory Group (IAG) which represents the supply chain and end users within the offshore sector from the regions of the Vanguard Initiative Energy Pilot including: DALARNA SCIENCE PARK (Sweden), OFFSHORE ENERGY CLUSTER (Denmark), SPRI (Basque Country), MERINOVA (Finland), and HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS ENTERPRISE (Scotland).

The Nessie Project took place over a two year period, from 2017 to 2019 and has been focused on the definition of demonstration projects in the North Sea Basin which accelerate deployment and cost reduction in operations to address corrosion in the wave, tidal and offshore wind sectors. To achieve this objective, the project partners sought to engage the regional supply chains in the participating regions to take advantage of the industrial and research capacities in anti-corrosion solutions (ACS). During a first phase of the project the specific areas around corrosion that would lead to the greatest reduction of the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) were investigated and, with this information, offshore renewable Project Developers were involved in defining investable demonstration projects to test new ACS solutions.
During the execution of the project various studies and reports were compiled on the most relevant information about corrosion and ACS which may be suitable for offshore renewable assets. These reports can be found in the Nessie Project Website Nessie Library and include the

One of the first reports from the NeSSIE project was the Roadmap for ACS in the Offshore Renewable Energy Sector, which made several recommendations related to the identification of the technical challenges that must be overcome in the offshore energy projects to decrease the LCoE. To enrich this extensive literature review, meetings and interviews were held with the main offshore renewable energy stakeholders and companies to investigate the main challenges they faced.

The main technical challenges identified were considered as the reference point for the definition of three demonstration bankable projects in a process designed as a three-stage-call competition so-called Delivering Investable Demonstration Projects in Offshore Renewables with a Focus on Corrosion and Materials.
The competition aimed to foster cooperation amongst the different regional ACS supply chains and facilitated the connection between the offshore renewable energy Project Developers and supply chain companies from different European regions. Addressing these challenges will reduce costs for developers and provide a new market opportunity for innovative offshore supply companies across Europe in the long term.

The overall results of the project will be presented at the conference “Developing Demonstration Projects: Corrosion Prevention for Offshore Renewables” which will be held on 24th April in Brussels.
The conference focuses on The NeSSIE approach, which can be utilised in other demonstration projects seeking funding support, as well as inform policy makers on supporting the development of demonstrators in the future. The target audience was a variety of industry actors, regional representatives, industry associations, cluster organisations, investment and funding bodies and permanent members of the European Parliament.

The conference opened with a description of the benefits of addressing corrosion and the whole process of engaging Project Development and ACS supply chain companies, defining and developing the investable business cases for these demonstrators.
This was followed by a session a session on ACS in harsh offshore environments, before organisations from Scotland, Belgium and Basque Country described examples of offshore demonstration projects in these regions:

o Scotland – The Meygen Project: The world leading demonstrator for tidal energy with ambitions to demonstrate corrosion for tidal energy.
o Belgium – Innovative Business Network – Offshore Energy: The importance of clustering and need for test & demonstration in the offshore energy sector.
o Basque Country – HarshLab – First floating laboratory in Europe for testing in a real offshore marine environment

The event provided a forum for discussion on the challenges, opportunities and key learnings required to undertake demonstration projects.

The NeSSIE approach and the ACS which are effectively demonstrated could be replicated in other offshore facilities all around the world. The interregional cooperation shown through the Nessie partners is an example of best practice in how to facilitate cross-sector collaboration to explore new, well-defined market opportunities, providing solutions to the most ambitious challenges around the world.

The new study by the Energy Watch Group and LUT University is the first of its kind to outline a 1.5°C scenario with a cost-effective, cross-sectoral, technology-rich global 100% renewable energy system that does not build on negative CO2 emission technologies. The scientific modelling study simulates a total global energy transition in the electricity, heat, transport and desalination sectors by 2050. It is based on four and a half years of research and analysis of data collection, as well as technical and financial modelling by 14 scientists. This proves that the transition to 100% renewable energy is economically competitive with the current fossil and nuclear-based system, and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy system to zero even before 2050.

The study concludes with political recommendations for a rapid integration of renewable energy and zero greenhouse gas emission technologies. Among the most important measures suggested by the report are promoting sector coupling, private investments (which should ideally be incentivised with fixed feed-in tariffs), tax breaks and legal privileges with simultaneous discontinuation of subsidies for coal and fossil fuels. According to the report, the transition to a global energy system based on 100% renewables can be achieved before 2050 if a strong policy framework is implemented.

Some key findings of the study:

The transition to 100% renewable energy requires comprehensive electrification in all energy sectors. The total electricity generation will be four to five times higher than electricity generation in 2015. Accordingly, electricity consumption in 2050 will account for more than 90% of the primary energy consumption. At the same time, consumption of fossil and nuclear energy resources in all sectors will cease completely.

  • The global primary energy generation in the 100% renewable energy system will consist of the following mix of energy sources: solar energy (69%), wind power (18%), hydropower (3%), bioenergy (6%) and geothermal energy (2%).
  • By 2050, wind and solar power will account for 96% of the total power supply of renewable energy sources. Renewable energies are produced virtually exclusively from decentralised local and regional generation.
  • 100% renewables are more cost-effective: The energy costs for a fully sustainable energy system will decrease from € 54/MWh in 2015 to € 53/MWh in 2050.
  • The transition in all sectors will reduce the annual greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector continuously from roughly 30 GtCO2-eq. in 2015 to zero by 2050.
  • A 100%-renewable electricity system will employ 35 million people worldwide. The roughly 9 million jobs in the worldwide coal mining sector from 2015 will be phased out completely by 2050. They will be overcompensated by the over 15 million new jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Source: Energy Watch Group

The launch meeting of the European Project DURABLE was held on April 12 in Bidart (France), with the objective of promoting the development of renewable energies in the Atlantic Area (France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom). The Project has a budget of €3.9M and it is co-financed by the Interreg Atlantic Area Program through the European Regional Development Fund.

The project

Specifically, the goal of DURABLE is to accelerate the performance of renewable energies through the validation and demonstration of aerospace technologies applied in robotics for operation and maintenance activities of wind and solar energy systems. The application of this technology will automate inspection and repair tasks, reducing costs and favoring production.

This project is led by the Ecole Supérieure des Technologies Industrielles Avancées (ESTIA) of France and it has an important Basque presence, since it includes three Basque partners: Alerion Technologies, Lortek S. Coop. and the Basque Energy Cluster.

The full name of the project is ‘Drones and maintenance robots for the promotion of renewable energies in the Atlantic area’. For the first time, this project will apply disruptive aerospace, robotic, non-destructive inspection and additive manufacturing technologies to solve the current challenges in the operation and maintenance of wind and solar energy parks.

The project plans to map the available technologies and the needs in the operation and maintenance of solar and wind energy parks, to adapt them afterward. DURABLE will conclude with the realization of a model and a test of the solution in a pilot project.

Project justification

The common challenge addressed by DURABLE in the Interreg Atlantic Area framework is the need to change the current paradigm of the renewable energy sector through the transformation of the technological, institutional, industrial and social framework in the Atlantic area.

In fact, the Atlantic region is below the average of the European Union (EU) in the consumption of energy from renewable sources. Countries need to update their renewable energy production technologies to overcome these challenges.

10 partners from 5 Atlantic countries

The DURABLE project is formed by a consortium that brings together 10 partners from the 5 Atlantic countries divided into: 7 technological centers / universities, 2 clusters and 1 industrial partner. In addition, other 6 associated entities participate through an Advisory Board.

Spanish partners include: Universidad de Sevilla, Centro Avanzado de Tecnologías Aerospaciales (CATEC), Clúster Vasco de Energía, Alerion Technologies, Lortek S.Coop and Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía (CTA).

Source: Cluster de Energía (Basque Energy Cluster)

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The German solar PV industry dominated Germany’s latest solar and onshore wind tender, receiving contracts for the entire 210 MW awarded in the auction, which was heavily oversubscribed.

Germany’s Federal Network Agency, the Bundesnetzagentur, announced on April, 18 the results from this tender, revealing that it had awarded 210 MW of solar contracts to 18 solar power bids. The tender was originally for 200 MW but was significantly oversubscribed, with 719.5 MW of solar projects bidding for contracts. No onshore wind contracts were awarded.

Of the 210 MW of contracts awarded, 59 MW was awarded to both the states of Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg — each with five successful bids — another 48 MW to the state of Schleswig-Holstein with three bids, 33 MW to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with two bids, and 10 MW to the state of Hesse with another three bids.

The average awarded price was 0.0566 €/kWh, with a low bid price of 0.045 €/kWh and a high of 0.061 €/kWh. The prices were up slightly on the November 2018 preliminary rounds of 0.0527 €/kWh, but must also be understood in conjunction with the special tender for solar held last month, which awarded contracts at an average of 0.065 €/kWh.

A separate tender was also held for biomass plants, which awarded 27 MW in a severely undersubscribed auction.

As the urgency to take bold climate action grows, new analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) finds that scaling-up renewable energy combined with electrification could deliver more than three quarters of the energy-related emission reductions needed to meet global climate goals. According to the latest edition of IRENA’s Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050, launched at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, pathways to meet 86 per cent of global power demand with renewable energy exist. Electricity would cover half of the global final energy mix. Global power supply would more than double over this period, with the bulk of it generated from renewable energy, mostly solar PV and wind.

The race to secure a climate safe future has entered a decisive phase,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “Renewable energy is the most effective and readily-available solution for reversing the trend of rising CO2 emissions. A combination of renewable energy with a deeper electrification can achieve 75 per cent of the energy-related emissions reduction needed.

An accelerated energy transition in line with the Roadmap 2050 would also save the global economy up to USD 160 trillion cumulatively over the next 30 years in avoided health costs, energy subsidies and climate damages. Every dollar spent on energy transition would pay off up to seven times. The global economy would grow by 2.5 per cent in 2050. However, climate damages can lead to significant socio-economic losses.

The shift towards renewables makes economic sense,” added Mr. La Camera. “By mid-century, the global economy would be larger, and jobs created in the energy sector would boost global employment by 0.2 per cent. Policies to promote a just, fair and inclusive transition could maximise the benefits for different countries, regions and communities. This would also accelerate the achievement of affordable and universal energy access. The global energy transformation goes beyond a transformation of the energy sector. It is a transformation of our economies and societies.

But action is lagging, the report warns. While energy-related CO2 emissions continued to grow by over 1 per cent annually on average in the last five years, emissions would need to decline by 70 per cent below their current level by 2050 to meet global climate goals. This calls for a significant increase in national ambition and more aggressive renewable energy and climate targets.

IRENA’s roadmap recommends that national policy should focus on zero-carbon long-term strategies. It also highlights the need to boost and harness systemic innovation. This includes fostering smarter energy systems through digitalisation as well as the coupling of end-use sectors, particularly transport, and heating and cooling, via greater electrification, promoting decentralisation and designing flexible power grids.

The energy transformation is gaining momentum, but it must accelerate even faster,” concluded Mr. La Camera. “The UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the review of national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement are milestones for raising the level of ambition. Urgent action on the ground at all levels is vital, in particular unlocking the investments needed to further strengthen the momentum of this energy transformation. Speed and forward-looking leadership will be critical – the world in 2050 depends on the energy decisions we take today.

Source: IRENA

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The decade-long trend of strong growth in renewable energy capacity continued in 2018 with global additions of 171 GW, according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The annual increase of 7.9 per cent was bolstered by new additions from solar and wind energy, which accounted for 84 per cent of the growth. A third of global power capacity is now based on renewable energy.

IRENA’s annual Renewable Capacity Statistics 2019, the most comprehensive, up-to-date and accessible figures on renewable energy capacity indicates growth in all regions of the world, although at varying speeds. While Asia accounted for 61 per cent of total new renewable energy installations and grew installed renewables capacity by 11.4 per cent, growth was fastest in Oceania that witnessed a 17.7 per cent rise in 2018. Africa’s 8.4 per cent growth put it in third place just behind Asia. Nearly two-thirds of all new power generation capacity added in 2018 was from renewables, led by emerging and developing economies.

Through its compelling business case, renewable energy has established itself as the technology of choice for new power generation capacity,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “The strong growth in 2018 continues the remarkable trend of the last five years, which reflects an ongoing shift towards renewable power as the driver of global energy transformation.

Renewable energy deployment needs to grow even faster, however, to ensure that we can achieve the global climate objectives and Sustainable Development Goals,” continued Mr. Amin. “Countries taking full advantage of their renewables potential will benefit from a host of socioeconomic benefits in addition to decarbonising their economies.

IRENA’s analysis also compared the growth in generation capacity of renewables versus non-renewable energy, mainly fossil-fuels and nuclear. While non-renewable generation capacity has decreased in Europe, North America and Oceania by about 85 GW since 2010, it has increased in both Asia and the Middle East over the same period. Since 2000, non-renewable generation capacity has expanded by about 115 GW per year (on average), with no discernible trend upwards or downwards.

Highlights by technology:

Hydropower: Growth in hydro continued to slow in 2018, with only China adding a significant amount of new capacity in 2018 (+8.5 GW).

Wind energy: Global wind energy capacity increased by 49 GW in 2017. China and the USA continued to account for the greatest share of wind energy expansion, with increases of 20 GW and 7 GW respectively. Other countries expanding by more than 1 GW were: Brazil; France; Germany; India; and the UK

Bioenergy: Three countries accounted for over half of the relatively low level of bioenergy capacity expansion in 2018. China increased capacity by 2 GW and India by 700 MW. Capacity also increased in the UK by 900 MW

Solar energy: Solar energy capacity increased by 94 GW last year (+ 24 per cent). Asia continued to dominate global growth with a 64 GW increase (about 70% of the global expansion in 2018). Maintaining the trend from last year, China, India, Japan and Republic of Korea accounted for most of this. Other major increases were in the USA (+8.4 GW), Australia (+3.8 GW) and Germany (+3.6 GW). Other countries with significant expansions in 2018 included: Brazil; Egypt; Pakistan; Mexico, Turkey and the Netherlands.

Geothermal energy: Geothermal energy increased by 539 MW in 2018, with most of the expansion taking place in Turkey (+219 MW) and Indonesia (+137 MW), followed by the USA, Mexico and New Zealand.

Globally, total renewable energy generation capacity reached 2,351 GW at the end of last year – around a third of total installed electricity capacity. Hydropower accounts for the largest share with an installed capacity of 1 172 GW – around half of the total. Wind and solar energy account for most of the remainder with capacities of 564 GW and 480 GW respectively. Other renewables included 121 GW of bioenergy, 13 GW of geothermal energy and 500 MW of marine energy (tide, wave and ocean energy).

Source: IRENA