‘Worrying’ data shows global renewable energy growth stalled in 2018

Latest data released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has revealed that after nearly two decades of strong annual growth, global renewable energy capacity growth remained flat in 2018.

New net capacity from solar PV, wind, hydro, bioenergy and other renewable power sources increased by nearly 180GW last year, matching renewables growth in 2017.

Last year was the first time since 2001 that growth in renewable power capacity failed to increase on the previous year, an outcome that raises concerns about meeting long-term climate goals according to IEA.

The 2018 capacity growth provided only around 60% of the net additions needed each year to meet long-term climate goals set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“The world cannot afford to press ‘pause’ on the expansion of renewables and governments need to act quickly to correct this situation and enable a faster flow of new projects,” said IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol.

“These 2018 data are deeply worrying, but smart and determined policies can get renewable capacity back on an upward trend,” he added.

Despite growth of 7% in renewables electricity generation, emissions from the power sector grew to record levels last year, with energy-related CO2 emissions rising 1.7% to 33GT.