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IRENA Renewable Energy Statistics 2020: 72% of new global power capacity in 2019 is renewable

The 2020 edition of Renewable Energy Statistics released by IRENA gives a comprehensive overview on global renewable energy capacity and uses data sets on power-generation capacity for 2010-2019, actual power generation for 2010-2018 and renewable energy balances for over 130 countries and areas for 2017-2018. Apart from that the report includes information on electricity generation and statistics on investments in renewables.
According to the report, in 2019 the total renewable energy generation capacity increased to 2.537 GW, which is about 7% more compared to 2018. Solar with 98 GW (+20%) and wind energy with 59 GW (+10%) remained dominant, together accounting for 90% of 176 GW of net renewable additions. The countries with most new solar energy capacity in 2019 were China, India, Japan and the Republic of Korea. In Europe, major increases were recorded in Spain, Ukraine and Germany. China and the United States continued to lead the way in the wind energy sector, with increases of 26 GW and 9 GW, respectively. Hydropower capacity growth was extremely low - by 12 GW (+1%) and bioenergy by 6 GW (+5%). A slight increase of about 700 MW was recorded in geothermal energy, with Turkey leading an expansion (+232 MW), ahead of Indonesia (+185 MW) and Kenya (+160 MW).

As in previous years, Asia leads the way, accounting for a 54% (+95.5 GW) share of new renewable capacity installed worldwide. Europe occupies the second position increasing its renewable capacity by 35.3 GW, followed by North America with 22 GW. Although the global capacity share of Oceania and the Middle East is small, the regions were the fastest growing in 2019 (+18.4% and +12.6% respectively). In comparison with the figures for 2018, capacity growth in Asia and Africa was slightly lower than in 2019, but higher than that in Europe and North America. In general, it should be noted that in 2019 the expansion of renewable energy somewhat slowed down, resulting in the renewable share growth of total generation capacity from 33.3% in 2018 to 34.7% in 2019. However, the share of renewables in total net power generation capacity additions was 72% worldwide.
The total amount of electricity generated from renewables in 2018 was 6 586 Terawatt-hour (TWh), which is a 6.1% increase compared to 2017, and 1258 TWh more than in 2014. Hydropower accounted for about 63% of new additions (4 149 TWh), ahead of wind energy (1 263 TWh), solar energy (562 TWh), bioenergy (523 TWh), geothermal energy (88 TWh) and marine energy (1 TWh). 2018 solar generation increased by 28% overtaking bioenergy and becoming the third largest source of renewable electricity generation after hydro and wind energy. Wind power generation increased by 11% compared to 2017. At a regional level, Asia is also in the lead, accounting for about 40% of the total global increase, followed by Europe and North America with 20% and 19%, respectively.

According to the figures published in the report, total public investment in renewables decreased by 31.2% in comparison to 2017 and reached USD 21 billion in 2018.