The world added a record amount of renewable energy in 2021

Despite an extended record of challenges for the renewable power trade spawned by the pandemic—together with provide chain issues, spikes in materials costs, and delays in building—the world added a file quantity of latest photo voltaic, wind, and different renewable capability final 12 months. This 12 months, it’s possible that one other file will probably be damaged.

The world added 295 gigawatts of latest renewable energy capability in 2021, in response to a brand new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). China added practically half of the world’s new renewable capability in 2021, with the European Union because the second-largest market. In 2022, that quantity might hit 320 gigawatts, roughly sufficient to satisfy the electrical energy demand for the whole nation of Germany. Growth in China and the EU has already been quicker than anticipated. But there’s nonetheless a really lengthy technique to go earlier than the world hits 100% renewable electrical energy (solely 28% of worldwide electrical energy is renewable up to now), and the report warns that progress might plateau in 2023 except coverage adjustments.

“Cutting red tape, accelerating permitting, and providing the right incentives for faster deployment of renewables are some of the most important actions governments can take to address today’s energy security and market challenges, while keeping alive the possibility of reaching our international climate goals,” Fatih Birol, govt director of the IEA, stated in a press release.

In the U.S., renewable progress has been slower than anticipated this 12 months, partly due to a Department of Commerce investigation into photo voltaic panel makers from Southeast Asia, sparked by a single small photo voltaic producer in California; the probe has delayed billions of {dollars}’ value of latest photo voltaic tasks. Uncertainty about the way forward for incentives for photo voltaic and wind has additionally slowed progress.

The value of latest wind and photo voltaic installations has additionally gone up, after greater than a decade of steep declines. But as a result of the price of fossil fuels has gone up much more, renewable power continues to be aggressive. And the pressing new push for power safety in Europe due to Russia’s struggle in Ukraine could possibly be sufficient to speed up progress. The coverage enacted over the subsequent six months, the report says, will probably be vital in figuring out whether or not the world can sustain the present tempo.

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