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Solar driving upturn in global renewable installs in 2019 - IEA

Renewable net capacity additions. Image by: The International Energy Agency (IEA).

September 23 (Renewables Now) - After reaching a plateau last year, global renewable capacity additions are set for a double-digit increase in 2019 on the back of strong growth in the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday.

In what will be the fastest growth pace registered since 2015, renewable capacity additions this year are seen to be almost 12% higher than in 2018, reaching nearly 200 GW. The largest contributors will be wind and solar power, with solar installs expected to climb by over 17%.

For 2019, the IEA’s forecast states that new deployments in the solar sector will rise to almost 115 GW, in spite of a slight drop in China, and the year will be the first one in which solar PV additions have topped the 100-GW mark. Improvement will be recorded in the European Union (EU), with Spain as one of the top markets, Vietnam, India, the US and Japan.

“We are witnessing a drastic decline in the cost of solar power together with strong growth in onshore wind. And offshore wind is showing encouraging signs,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.

The upward trend in renewable capacity additions will also come thanks to the onshore wind segment, where installations are expected to be up 15% to 53 GW. The expansion of offshore wind, meanwhile, is expected to keep a steady pace at around 5 GW.

IEA noted that last year’s failure to register a year-on-year increase in capacity additions was mainly due to policy changes in China, which in turn signals the critical role of governments for market stability. According to IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), the world should be installing over 300 GW of renewables annually on average in the 2018-2030 period, in order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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