Record amount of renewable energy installed in 2017: REN21 report

New research by renewable energy policy network REN21 has found that a record amount of clear energy capacity was added worldwide in 2017.

An estimated 178GW of renewable energy capacity was installed over the course of the year, which represent the largest annual increase ever recorded in the industry.

Total global renewable energy capacity rose to 2,195GW from 2,017GW in 2016, with renewables growth outstripping that of new fossil fuel generation across the world.

REN21’s annual renewables global status report said that more than 70% of the net additions to global energy capacity came from renewables.

In addition, new investment in renewable energy and fuels came to US$279 billion, more than twice the investment made in new fossil fuel and nuclear power capacity.

However, energy demand and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased for the first time in four years in 2017, with energy demand up 2.1% and CO2 emissions rising by 1.4% due to economic growth in emerging economies.

“We may be racing down the pathway towards a 100% renewable electricity future but when it comes to heating, cooling and transport, we are coasting along as if we had all the time in the world. Sadly, we don’t,” warned Randa Adib, executive secretary of REN21.