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Global green energy growth to fall for first time in 20 years – IEA

Global growth in new renewable energy capacity will experience its first annual decline in 20 years, this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fatih Birol
Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)

But, it is expected to pick up next year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

The world is set to build fewer wind turbines, solar plants and other installations that produce renewable electricity this year as energy demand has been reduced across commercial and industrial sectors and logistics issues delay projects.

“Countries are continuing to build new wind turbines and solar plants, but at a much slower pace,’’ IEA Executive Director, Fatih Birol, said.

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“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the world needed to significantly accelerate the deployment of renewables to have a chance of meeting its energy and climate goals.’’

Renewable capacity additions this year are set to total 167 gigawatts (GW), 13 per cent less than last year, according to the IEA’s Renewable Market Update report.

But overall global renewable power capacity is still expanding and will grow by six per cent in 2020.

Slower growth this year reflects delays in construction activity due to supply chain disruptions, lockdown measures and social distancing as well as financing challenges.

Next year, renewable power additions are forecast to rebound to the level reached in 2019, as delayed projects come online and assuming a continuation of supportive government policies.

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Growth for 2020 and 2021 combined is expected to be 10 per cent lower than the IEA had previously forecast before the coronavirus outbreak.

Almost all mature markets are affected by downward revisions, except the U.S. where investors are rushing to finish projects before tax credits expire.


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