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World puts break on renewables growth in 2018, IEA warns

Author: Rick Finster.

May 8 (Renewables Now) - Global renewable net capacity additions reached a plateau in 2018 after failing to register a year-on-year increase for this first time since the beginning of the millennium, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said this week.

Both in 2017 and 2018, new capacity additions amounted to 177 GW. According to the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), the world should be installing over 300 GW annually on average in the 2018-2030 period, if it intends to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The organisation pointed the finger at governmental policies for this “unexpected flattening of growth trends”, since, due to declining costs, renewables are now competitive on their own without needing to resort to subsidies.

“These 2018 data are deeply worrying, but smart and determined policies can get renewable capacity additions back on an upward trend,” the IEA’s executive director Dr Fatih Birol said.

Data on the renewable net capacity additions (in GW) by country and region in 2015-2018 are presented below:

Country/region: 2015 2016 2017 2018
China 65 66 82 77
United States 17 24 17 18
European Union 25 22 23 22
India 7 12 15 14
Japan 12 9 8 7
Other countries 33 39 32 40

The IEA also warned that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by the energy sector increased by 1.7% to 33 gigatonnes, despite a 7% growth in the electricity production from renewables.

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About the author

Sladjana is the newest addition to the Renewables Now team. She has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry.

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