The world saw a record 9.6% growth in renewables in 2022

The world saw a record 9.6% growth in renewables in 2022

In 2022, the world witnessed a remarkable 9.6% growth in renewable energy generation capacity, according to the latest Renewable Capacity Statistics report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report also revealed that renewable energy was responsible for an astonishing 83% of all new power capacity added last year. The continued growth of renewable energy at record levels, despite global uncertainties, confirms the downward trend of fossil fuels. In this article, we will delve deeper into the key findings of the report and what they mean for the future of renewable energy.

Key Highlights

  • Global renewable generation capacity reached 3,372 GW by the end of 2022, growing the stock of renewable power by 295 GW or 9.6%.
  • Renewable energy produced 83% of all power capacity added in 2022.
  • Solar and wind dominated new generating capacity, contributing 90% to the share of all new renewable capacity in 2022.
  • Hydropower accounted for the largest share of the global total renewable generation capacity with 1,250 GW.
  • Annual additions of renewable power capacity must grow three times the current level by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5C.

Resilience of Renewable Energy

Francesco La Camera, director-general of IRENA, highlighted the resilience of renewable energy amid the lingering energy crisis. He noted that the strong business case of renewables, coupled with enabling policies, has sustained an upward trend of their share in the global energy mix year on year. However, the report notes that annual additions of renewable power capacity must grow three times the current level by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5C.

Regional Growth

While many countries increased their renewable capacity in 2022, the significant growth of renewables is concentrated in Asia, the US, and Europe. Almost half of all new capacity in 2022 was added in Asia, resulting in a total of 1.63 TW of renewable capacity by 2022. China was the largest contributor, adding 141 GW to Asia’s new capacity. Renewables in Europe and North America grew by 57.3 GW and 29.1 GW, respectively. Africa saw an increase of 2.7 GW, slightly above 2021. Oceania continued its double-digit growth with an expansion of 5.2 GW, and South America had a capacity expansion of 18.2 GW. The Middle East recorded its highest increase in renewables on record, with 3.2 GW of new capacity added in 2022, an increase of 12.8%.

Solar and Wind Dominate New Generating Capacity

Although hydropower accounted for the largest share of the global total renewable generation capacity with 1,250 GW, solar and wind continued to dominate new generating capacity. Together, both technologies contributed 90% to the share of all new renewable capacity in 2022. Solar led with a 22% (191 GW) increase, followed by wind, which increased its generating capacity by 9% (75 GW).

Conclusion

The Renewable Capacity Statistics report by IRENA shows that renewable energy continues to grow at a record pace despite global uncertainties, affirming the declining trend of fossil fuels. The report also underscores the urgent need to accelerate the pace of adding renewable power capacity to limit global warming to 1.5C. With enabling policies and strong business cases for renewables, the world can achieve a sustainable energy mix while mitigating climate change.