New Delhi: In 2020, annual renewable energy capacity additions increased 45 per cent to almost 280 gigawatts (GW), the highest ever year-on-year increase since 1999, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) latest renewable energy market update for 2021 and 2022.
It said that the 45 per cent extra power is equal to the total installed capacity of ASEAN, a grouping of 10 dynamic South-East Asian economies.
“Renewable sources of electricity such as wind and solar grew at their fastest rate in two decades in 2020 and are set to expand in coming years at a much faster pace than prior to the pandemic,” IEA said.
It added that the increase in 2020 was set to become the ‘new normal’, with about 270 GW of renewable capacity on course to be added in 2021 and almost 280 GW in 2022, despite a slowdown in China after an exceptional level of additions last year.
Those forecasts have been revised upwards by more than 25 per cent from the IEA’s previous estimates in November as governments around the world have auctioned record levels of renewable capacity and companies have signed record-level power purchase agreements, even as the pandemic spread macroeconomic uncertainties and suppressed demand.
“Wind and solar power are giving us more reasons to be optimistic about our climate goals as they break record after record. Last year the increase in renewable capacity accounted for 90 per cent of the entire global power sector’s expansion” said Fatih Birol, executive director, IEA.
Regarding India, IEA said that the COVID-19 impact on renewable energy deployment affected India more than any other country. It said that pandemic-induced construction delays and grid connection challenges caused India’s capacity additions to decline by almost 50 per cent from 2019 to 2020.
“Although new records for renewable capacity expansion are expected to be set in 2021 and 2022 as delayed projects from previous competitive auctions are commissioned, the current surge in COVID-19 cases has created short-term forecast uncertainty,” IEA said in its report.
It added that while the financial health of discoms remained the primary challenge to renewable energy deployment in India, the recently proposed reform of $40 billion to improve discom operations and finances would offer a more positive outlook.
The report also said that solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity additions in India more than tripled in 2021 compared with 2020 as delayed large-scale utility projects become operational.
It said that the government awarded 27 GW of solar PV in Central and state auctions in 2020, which was the primary driver of PV growth this year and would be in the next year too.
“Distributed PV expansion remains sluggish due to administrative and regulatory challenges in multiple states, while the reluctance of discoms to adopt commercial PV remains a key barrier to faster growth,” IEA added.
According to the report, global wind capacity additions almost doubled last year to 114 GW, which would slow down a bit in 2021 and 2022, but the increases will still be 50 per cent larger than the average expansion during the 2017-19 period.
It said that solar PV installations would continue to break new records, with annual additions forecast to reach over 160 GW by 2022, which would be almost 50 per cent higher than the level achieved in 2019 prior to the pandemic.
China is at the center of global renewable demand and supply, accounting for around 40 per cent of global renewable capacity growth for several years. In 2020, China’s share rose to 50 per cent for the first time due to a rush to complete projects before government subsidies were phased out.
The report said that in 2021-22, renewables growth in China is set to stabilise at levels that are below the 2020 record but still over 50 per cent above where it was during the 2017-19 period.Tag: ptc sites that pay $10 per click