After years of hard work and dedication, a third of the global power capacity is now linked to renewable energy. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) just released new data that shows impressive growth in both wind and solar energy, which has contributed to the changes in energy sources around the globe.
Locations differed in the rate of renewable energy capacity. Asia, for example, witnessed an increase in renewable energy by 11 percent, while Africa’s pace was a little above 8.4 percent. Also contributing the numbers is the fact that two-thirds of the power added last year came from renewable sources, and developing countries are leading the pack.
“Through its compelling business case, renewable energy has established itself as the technology of choice for new power generation capacity,” the director of IRENA, Adnan Z. Amin explained.
Renewable energy has been on the rise for past five years, and the numbers released in IRENA’s study show they are not slowing down. While the numbers are a positive sign for the future, Amin believes they need to increase at an even faster pace if we want to reach our global climate goals.
New technology, of course, is the driving force behind renewable energy. Not only does technology make these energy sources possible, but it also makes them easier than ever to access. This includes the use of wind and solar energy, which contributed the most to energy capacities in 2018. Wind energy experienced a growth by around 49 GW while solar energy led the pack with an increase of 94 GW.
While hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy, its growth has steadily declined over the years. Other notable sources include bioenergy, which saw growth in both China and the UK, and geothermal energy which increased in Turkey, Indonesia and the United States.
Considering the fast growth rate of renewable energy, environmentalists hope the trend will continue for decades to come. If more and more countries continue to invest in renewable energy, we should be able to make great strides in curbing global carbon emissions over the next century.
Image via IRENA