Last year 177 GW of renewable energy sources were added, which is about the same as the year before, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest data. It’s the first time since 2001 that growth in renewable power capacity failed to increase year-on-year. The IEA estimates the current level of net additions is around 60 percent of what’s needed to meet long-term climate goals.
Since 2015, capacity additions from wind en hydropower have been slowing, but this trend was compensated for by strong growth in PV. However, after a change in China’s PV incentives, a decline was seen last year. China is by far the world’s largest renewables market, adding 82 and 77 GW in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
“These 2018 data are deeply worrying, but smart and determined policies can get renewable capacity back on an upward trend,” comments Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “Thanks to rapidly declining costs, the competitiveness of renewables is no longer heavily tied to financial incentives. What they mainly need are stable policies supported by a long-term vision but also a focus on integrating renewables into power systems in a cost-effective and optimal way. Stop-and-go policies are particularly harmful to markets and jobs.”