Over the first 10 months of 2020, China, India and the European Union have driven auctioned renewable power capacity worldwide 15 percent higher than in the same period last year, a new record. At the same time, shares of publicly listed renewable equipment manufacturers and project developers have been outperforming most major stock market indices and the overall energy sector.
However, policy makers still need to take steps to support the strong momentum behind renewables. The report highlights the expiry of incentives in key markets and the resulting uncertainties lead to a small decline in renewables capacity additions in 2022. But if countries address these policy uncertainties in time, the report estimates that global solar PV and wind additions could each increase by a further 25 percent in 2022.
Rooftop solar PV has been impacted by the crisis as households and businesses reprioritised investments but under favourable policy conditions, solar PV annual additions could reach a record 150GW by 2022 – an increase of almost 40% in just three years.
“Renewables are resilient to the Covid crisis but not to policy uncertainties,” said Dr Birol. “Governments can tackle these issues to help bring about a sustainable recovery and accelerate clean energy transitions. In the United States, for instance, if the proposed clean electricity policies of the next US administration are implemented, they could lead to a much more rapid deployment of solar PV and wind, contributing to a faster decarbonisation of the power sector.”
The report’s outlook for the next five years sees cost reductions that will lead to total wind and solar PV capacity overtaking natural gas in 2023 and coal in 2024.
The report is at www.iea.org/reports/renewables-2020
The data explorer is at www.iea.org/articles/renewables-2020-data-explorer
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