Despite the slowdown in electricity growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic, renewables have surged in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). They now account for about 90% of the total capacity added this year.
IEA experts noted an increase in spending on renewable energy in China and the United States. Various factories in these countries account for nearly 200 GW of additional generating capacity worldwide.
Most of the companies used hydropower, solar and wind energy. Wind and solar power assets are expected to grow by 30% in both China and the United States in the future. Most likely, developers will take advantage of special government programs, which expire in 2020. The United States, China, Japan, Germany, Italy, India and the United Kingdom provide some tax incentives if companies use renewable energy sources.
The agency predicts that India and the European Union will also add an additional 10% renewable capacity, the fastest growing industry since 2015.
“Renewable energy is overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic with sustained growth,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.
During the first ten months of the year, China, India and the EU increased their renewables by 15% over last year. Meanwhile, shares of manufacturers of equipment for renewable energy sources outpace most stocks and the energy sector as a whole, the agency said.
The IEA noted that in order to consolidate the success of 2020, constant support from one hundred of the authorities is necessary. If national governments continue to develop subsidy programs, solar and wind additions could grow by another quarter by 2022. And photovoltaic installations could reach a record 150 GW by 2022.
“Renewables are resilient to the COVID-19 crisis, but not to policy uncertainty,” Birol concludes.
If the IEA’s forecasts come true, renewables could become the world’s largest source of electricity by 2025.