The world added a record 295 gigawatts of renewable power in 2021 and is on pace to surpass that amount in 2022, according to a new analysis from the International Energy Agency.
China led the world in the renewable buildout, with almost half of new capacity globally, followed by the European Union and the United States. The renewable boom is particularly noteworthy given that developers faced numerous speed bumps as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, from kinks in the supply chain to construction delays.
This year, the world is expected to add another 320 gigawatts of renewables, enough to meet the power demands of Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy. Pro-renewable policies in China and Europe are driving much of the expansion, and helping to offset slower renewables growth in the United States, where wrangling over climate legislation and an investigation into potential trade violations by suppliers in Southeast Asia have frustrated developers.
Without stronger climate policies, renewable energy growth is likely to plateau in 2023, according to the report. Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said, “Cutting red tape, accelerating permitting and providing the right incentives for faster deployment of renewables are some of the most important actions governments can take to address today’s energy security and market challenges.”