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83% of electricity capacity added in 2022 came from renewables

The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) published a new report, titled Renewable Capacity Statistics 2023. 

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The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) published a new report, titled Renewable Capacity Statistics 2023. The document concludes that by the end of 2022, global renewable generation capacity amounted to 3,372 gigawatts (GW), which represented a record growth of 295 GW or 9.6%, compared to last year.

“This continued record growth shows the resilience of renewables amid the persistent energy crisis,” said Irena CEO Francesco La Camera. 

“The strong business case for renewables, coupled with supportive policies, has kept its share of the global energy mix on an upward trend year on year. But annual renewable energy capacity additions must triple the current level by 2030 if we are to stay on the path of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.”

The increase in renewable energy, the document highlights, occurs despite an uncertain world energy outlook, such as the energy crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which confirms, adds Irena, the global trend of decreasing energy generated by fossil fuels.

Although there were several countries that increased their installation of renewables, the report found that there are certain places where the increase was concentrated, such as Asia, the United States and Europe. 

The data indicates that nearly half of all new capacity in 2022 was added in Asia, bringing the total to 1.63 Terawatts (TW) of renewable capacity by 2022. China was the largest contributor, adding 141 GW to the new continent's capacity.

For their part, renewable energies grew by 57.3 GW and 29.1 GW in Europe and the United States, respectively. Africa increased its capacity by 2.7 GW, slightly higher than last year, while Oceania had an expansion of 5.2 GW. 

South America registered a capacity expansion of 18.2 GW. The Middle East posted its largest renewables increase on record, with 3.2 GW of new capacity last year, an increase of 12.8%.

A few days ago, the Global Energy Monitor (GEM) platform recorded through a new report that, by 2030, Latin America has the potential to be an energy giant, because if all the renewable projects that are scheduled are completed, the region has the possibility of increasing the generation of renewables by more than 460%.

According to these data, by the end of the decade, Latin America could have 319 gigawatts (GW) of new installed capacity. To better measure the figure, this is something like 132 times the capacity of Hidroituango.

The IRENA document highlights that although hydropower accounted for the majority of the world's total renewable generation capacity, at 1,250 GW, solar and wind continue to dominate new generation capacity. 

“Together, both technologies contributed 90% to the share of all new renewable capacity in 2022. Solar capacity led with an increase of 22%, followed by wind power, which increased its generation capacity by 9%”, the document states.

“Given that energy demand is expected to increase in many regions of the world, the energy transition requires a step change involving a strategic shift beyond decarbonisation of supply. Any expansion of new non-renewable energy capacity in light of recent world events must be connected to efforts to accelerate the energy transition to make the system more resilient, inclusive and climate resilient.”

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