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Renewable power installations are set for a record year, says IEA

According to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report, renewable electricity growth is accelerating faster than ever worldwide.

Power County Wind Farm - Power County, Idaho in 2012. Source - ENERGY.GOV, Public Domain
Power County Wind Farm - Power County, Idaho in 2012. Source - ENERGY.GOV, Public Domain

According to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report, renewable electricity growth is accelerating faster than ever worldwide, with a new record achieved for renewable electricity installations this year.

Despite rising costs for key materials used to make solar panels and wind turbines, additions of new renewable power capacity this year are forecast to rise to 290 gigawatts (GW) in 2021, surpassing the previous all-time high set last year, according to the latest edition of the IEA’s annual Renewables Market Report.

“We have revised up our forecast from a year earlier,” the report said, per NBC News, “as stronger policy support and ambitious climate targets announced for COP26 outweigh the current record commodity prices that have increased the costs of building new wind and solar PV installations.”

By the year 2026, global renewable electricity capacity is forecast to rise more than 60 percent from 2020 levels to over 4,800 GW. Renewables should then account for about 95 percent of the increase in global power capacity, with solar PV alone providing more than half.

Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA said “This year’s record renewable electricity additions of 290 gigawatts are yet another sign that a new global energy economy is emerging,”

“The high commodity and energy prices we are seeing today pose new challenges for the renewable industry, but elevated fossil fuel prices also make renewables even more competitive.”

However, as the AFP reports, the IEA, which advises industrialized nations on energy policy, said that “even this faster deployment would still fall well short of what would be needed in a global pathway to net zero emissions by mid-century.”

This means that nations would have to grow their renewable power capacity almost twice as fast as its growth is today. This could be accomplished if nations would facilitate permitting, integration into the grid, and access to finance, the IEA says.

Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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