Business World of Renewable Energy

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2015 Sets Record for Renewable Energy, New IRENA Data Shows

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Renewable Capacity Statistics 2016 finds that as of the end of 2015, 1,985 GW of renewable generation capacity existed globally. 2015 was a record year for both wind and solar due in large part to a continued decline in technology costs. Wind power grew 63 GW (17%) driven by declines in onshore turbine prices of up to 45% since 2010. Solar capacity increased 47 GW (26%) thanks to price drops of up to 80% for solar photovoltaic modules in the same time period. Hydropower capacity increased by 35 GW (3%), while both bioenergy and geothermal energy capacity increased 5% each (5 GW and 1 GW respectively).

In terms of regional distribution, the fastest growth in renewable generation capacity came in developing countries. Central America and the Caribbean expanded at a rate of 14.5%. In Asia, where additions accounted for 58% of new global renewable power generation capacity in 2015, capacity expanded at a rate of 12.4%. Capacity increased by 24 GW (5.2%) in Europe and 20 GW (6.3%) in North America.

At year end, hydropower accounted for the largest share of the global total renewable power generation capacity with an installed capacity of 1,209 GW, the majority of which are large-scale plants. Wind and solar energy accounted for most of the remainder, with an installed capacity of 432 GW and 227 GW respectively. Other renewables included 104 GW of bioenergy, 13 GW of geothermal energy and about 500 MW of marine energy (tide, wave and ocean).

Source: IWR Online, 11 Apr 2016