By the end of 2017, global renewable generation capacity increased by 167 gigawatts (GW) and reached 2,179 GW worldwide, according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on Thursday.
This represents a yearly growth of around 8.3 percent, the average for seven straight years, according to Renewable Capacity Statistics 2018, which contains nearly 15,000 data points from more than 200 countries and territories.
Solar photovoltaics grew by a whopping 32 percent in 2017, followed by wind energy at 10 percent.
"This growth saw substantial cost reductions, with the levelized cost of electricity from solar PV decreasing by 73 percent," the report shows, adding that the cost of onshore wind fell by nearly one-quarter between 2010 and 2017.
"Both technologies are now well within the cost range of power generated by fossil fuels," the statistics show.
China continued to lead global capacity additions, installing nearly half of all new capacity in 2017 while 10 percent of all new capacity additions came from India, mostly in solar and wind.
"Asia accounted for 64 percent of new capacity additions in 2017, up from 58 percent last year. Europe added 24 GW of new capacity in 2017, followed by North America with 16 GW. Brazil set itself on a path of accelerated renewables deployment, installing 1 GW of solar generation, a ten-fold increase from the previous year," according to the report.
By Gulsen Cagatay