Three Countries are Leading the Renewable Energy Revolution


Three Countries are Leading the Renewable Energy Revolution

Renewable energy production surged in 2016, with around two-thirds or 165 gigawatts of net new capacity coming from clean sources.

This was thanks largely to booming solar-panel deployment in China and throughout the world which grew by 50% to around 74 gigawatts. That is according to the IEA renewables 2017 report, which says sharp cost reductions and improved policy support are paving the way for continued growth in the renewables sector.

The report says record performance in 2016 “forms the bedrock” of the IEA’s electricity forecast, which predicts renewable energy capacity will expand by 43% or more than 920 gigawatts by 2022. It adds that solar will continue to dominate the renewables market, generating far more electricity in the next four years than wind and hydropower.

THE TOP THREE

Among the top three nations, China is the undisputed renewable growth leader, accounting for over 40% of the total global clean energy mix by 2022. This is due to meeting various capacity targets and addressing concerns about the country’s air pollution.

In recent month, for example China has deployed a number of novel technologies designed to clean the air, including a 100-metre-tall smog-sucking tower in the city of Xian.

China has also surpassed its 2020 solar panel target and the IEA says it expects the country to exceed its wind target in 2019. China is also the global market leader in hydropower, bioenergy for electricity and heat and electric vehicles.

Perhaps surprisingly the United States is the second-largest growth market for renewables. Despite President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, renewable projects in the US are expected to benefit from multi-year federal tax incentives and state-level policies for distributed solar panels in the coming years.

In India meanwhile, renewable capacity is expected to more than double by 2022. Solar and wind represent 90% of India’s capacity growth, which is the result of auctions for contracts to develop power-generation capacity that have yielded some of the world’s lowest prices for both technologies the report says.

Because of this, India’s growth between now and 2022 is, for the first time expected to be higher than in the European Union (EU). However, the report says if the new EU renewable energy directive covering the post-2020 period is adopted, it would address this challenge by requiring a three-year period for policies to support renewable energy, thereby improving the market’s predictability.

Fortunately, if you look at individual EU member states, the outlook seems brighter. Denmark for example, is expected to generate 69% of its energy from renewable sources by 2022, making it the world leader.

Renewable energy production surged in 2016, with around two-thirds or 165 gigawatts of net new capacity coming from clean sources.

This was thanks largely to booming solar-panel deployment in China and throughout the world which grew by 50% to around 74 gigawatts. That is according to the IEA renewables 2017 report, which says sharp cost reductions and improved policy support are paving the way for continued growth in the renewables sector.

The report says record performance in 2016 “forms the bedrock” of the IEA’s electricity forecast, which predicts renewable energy capacity will expand by 43% or more than 920 gigawatts by 2022. It adds that solar will continue to dominate the renewables market, generating far more electricity in the next four years than wind and hydropower.

THE TOP THREE

Among the top three nations, China is the undisputed renewable growth leader, accounting for over 40% of the total global clean energy mix by 2022. This is due to meeting various capacity targets and addressing concerns about the country’s air pollution.

In recent month, for example China has deployed a number of novel technologies designed to clean the air, including a 100-metre-tall smog-sucking tower in the city of Xian.

China has also surpassed its 2020 solar panel target and the IEA says it expects the country to exceed its wind target in 2019. China is also the global market leader in hydropower, bioenergy for electricity and heat and electric vehicles.

Perhaps surprisingly the United States is the second-largest growth market for renewables. Despite President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, renewable projects in the US are expected to benefit from multi-year federal tax incentives and state-level policies for distributed solar panels in the coming years.

In India meanwhile, renewable capacity is expected to more than double by 2022. Solar and wind represent 90% of India’s capacity growth, which is the result of auctions for contracts to develop power-generation capacity that have yielded some of the world’s lowest prices for both technologies the report says.

Because of this, India’s growth between now and 2022 is, for the first time expected to be higher than in the European Union (EU). However, the report says if the new EU renewable energy directive covering the post-2020 period is adopted, it would address this challenge by requiring a three-year period for policies to support renewable energy, thereby improving the market’s predictability.

Fortunately, if you look at individual EU member states, the outlook seems brighter. Denmark for example, is expected to generate 69% of its energy from renewable sources by 2022, making it the world leader.

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