Renewable energy to achieve record capacity growth this year and next: IEA report

Renewable energy capacity around the world will grow to record levels this year, while fossil fuel capacity will fall due to an economic slump caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found in a report.

In its annual renewables outlook, the IEA said renewable energy capacity would rise by 4% on 2019 to a record 198GW this year and by a further 10% next year – which would be the fastest growth in renewables since 2015.

The report also stated that almost 90% of new electricity generation in 2020 will be renewable, with just 10% powered by gas and coal. The trend puts renewables on track to become the largest power source in 2025.

The renewables industry has faced supply chain disruptions and construction delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the year, but plant construction and manufacturing activity has largely recovered and logistical challenges have been mostly resolved, the IEA said.

“Renewable power is defying the difficulties caused by the pandemic, showing robust growth while others fuels struggle,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said. “The resilience and positive prospects of the sector are clearly reflected by continued strong appetite from investors.”