China emerged as the biggest contributor of new renewable capacity in Asia after it added 121 gigawatts (GW) in 2021, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported.
Asia has the biggest share of new capacity in 2021 with a total of 1.46 terawatt of renewable energy in 2021. It is followed by Europe and North America, with 39GW and 38GW, respectively.
Moreover, renewable energy capacity grew 3.9% in Africa, and 3.3% in Central America and the Caribbean.
Renewable energy took the lion’s share of new generation capacity in 2021 after its stock grew 9.1% to 3,064 gigawatts (GW) in 2021.
Of this, hydropower accounted for the largest share with 1,230GW; but IRENA noted in its Renewable Capacity Statistics 2022 that solar and wind dominated new generating capacity.
Solar capacity led with 19% increase, followed wind energy with a 13% increase in generating capacity.
“[Renewable Energy’s] strong performance last year represents more opportunities for countries to reap renewables’ multiple socio-economic benefits. However, despite the encouraging global trend, our new World Energy Transitions Outlook shows that the energy transition is far from being fast or widespread enough to avert the dire consequences of climate change,” IRENA Director-General, Francesco La Camera, said.
“Our current energy crisis also adds to the evidence that the world can no longer rely on fossil fuels to meet its energy demand. Money directed to fossil fuel power plants yields unrewarding results, both for the survival of a nation and the planet. Renewable power should become the norm across the globe. We must mobilise the political will to accelerate the 1.5°C pathway.”