27 October 2016

Renewables become most important installed source of power ahead of coal

For the first time, global renewable electricity capacity has overtaken coal and has become the most important installed source of power.

153 GW of renewables capacity were installed last year, and worldwide renewable capacity has now reached 1,985 GW, compared to 1,951 GW for coal.

According to the IEA, 500,000 solar panels were installed every day last year.

Asian countries such as China or India have proven to be growing leaders in the sector.

Thanks to new policies aiming at “enhancing energy security and sustainability”, 825 GW are predicted to be installed by 2021, according to the IEA.

The important recent decrease of costs for renewable energy has played a central role in the installation boost.

Fatih Birol, IEA’s Executive Director said: “This cost reduction trend, which is expected to continue, will be a key factor in driving renewable deployment... Growth is anticipated to be increasingly concentrated in emerging and developing economies, with Asia taking the centre stage... In the next five years, the People’s Republic of China and India alone will account for almost half of global renewable capacity additions.

He also said: "We are witnessing a transformation of global power markets led by renewables and, as is the case with other fields, the centre of gravity for renewable growth is moving to emerging markets.”

The most important renewable energy globally remains hydropower, even if the recent installations have been focused on solar and wind.

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