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Irena Renewable Capacity Statistics 2024: solar and wind made almost 98% of renewable energy additions in 2023

Aenert news. Energy Market & Energy Statistics
According to the recently published Renewable Capacity Statistics 2024 Report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a new world record for renewable energy in the electricity sector was set in 2023 – with the addition of 473 gigawatts (GW) of renewables (+13.9%) their total global capacity reached about 3,870 GW.

For several years in a row, Asia has led the way in the expansion of renewable energy generation accounting for a 69% share (326 GW) in 2023. Traditionally, this growth has been driven by China, whose capacity increased by 63%, adding 297.6 GW. For comparison, Europe increased by 10%, Oceania by 9.4%, North America by 7%, and Africa by 4.6%. The Middle East with 5.1 GW of new capacity added in 2023 (+16.6%) recorded its highest expansion on record.

Solar and wind power account for 97.6% of all net renewable energy additions in 2023, while solar continuing to lead capacity additions with 346 GW (+32.2%), followed by wind power with 116 GW (+12.9%).

Parque Solar Guadarranque, Spain. Aenert photos

Here are the main results for 2023 by technology:

  - Solar energy: increase by about 346 GW. With an addition of 237.7 GW, China leads the way making 91.2% of the global growth, followed by the USA (+24.8 GW), Germany (+14.3 GW), Brazil (+11.9 GW) and India (+9.7 GW).

  - Wind energy: increase by 116 GW is the biggest in the past decade.  China accounted for the lion's share, almost two-thirds of this expansion (+75.9 GW), while capacity in the US increased by 6.3 GW. Other new additions worth mentioning were recorded in Brazil, India, Canada and a handful of European countries such as France, Germany, Finland and Sweden.  

China. Wind park. Credit Mathias Magg

  - Renewable hydropower (excluding pumped hydro):  increase of 7 GW. China is the frontrunner again, ahead of Australia, Nigeria, and Colombia.

  - Bioenergy: increase by 4.4 GW indicates a slow down if compared +6.4 GW in 2022. Here, too, China led the net expansion in Asia and the world, adding 1.9 GW, followed by Japan (+1.0 GW), Brazil (+0.4 GW) and Uruguay (+0.3 GW).

  - Geothermal energy: The only sector where China is not ranked first. The increase has been modest, with most in Indonesia (+58 MW), Kenya (+35 MW) and Chile (+32 MW).

Overall, experts note that the expansion of renewable energy is unevenly distributed across countries, which means that urgent global policy action is needed to successfully achieve the goal of tripling renewable electricity generation by 2030.

By the Editorial Board