Global renewable energy capacity quadruples in 10 years, but emissions still grow
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Global renewable energy capacity quadruples in 10 years, but emissions still grow

The port of Zeebrugge. Credit: © Kurt Desplenter/ Belga

Renewable energies have seen their production capacity quadruple worldwide in 10 years, although this has not prevented emissions from the energy sector from growing.

This information comes from the annual report of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which was released Thursday ahead of the UN climate summit.

Wind, biomass, hydropower and above all solar energy investments reached more than 2,500 billion dollars over this decade, driven by falling costs, says the report.

According to these calculations, which do not include dams larger than 50 MW, renewables now represent a capacity of 1,650 gigawatts (compared to 414 GW in 2009) and generated 12.9% of global electricity production in 2018.


Solar represents the largest share of the 2,300 GW installed capacity over the decade, exceeding fossil resources such as coal and gas.

The report identifies 30 countries that have invested more than $1 billion in renewables over this period, while also making extensive use of fossil fuels, most of them.

China is by far the largest investor and the world’s largest CO2 emitter, having spent 760 billion on green energy since 2010.

Since 2009, the cost of energy generated by photovoltaic plants has fallen by 81%, and onshore wind by 46%, a dramatic increase in competitiveness.

In 2018, green energy prevented the emission of 2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent, their report says. Nevertheless, global emissions from the energy sector have also reached a record level, 13.7 billion tonnes, further distancing the world from its climate objectives, the report adds.

The Brussels Times