The total share of global renewable generation capacity in electricity production rose from 36.6% in 2020 to 38.3% in 2021, according to recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
At the end of 2021, renewable generation capacity increased by 257 gigawatts (GW), marking a year-on-year increase of 9.1%.
According to the report, solar and wind energy continued to dominate renewable capacity expansion, jointly accounting for 88% of all net renewable additions in 2021.
With a higher growth rate of geothermal power, growth in wind and solar also contributed to the sizable annual increase in renewable generating capacity.
- Largest share from hydropower
Global renewable generation capacity amounted to 3,064 GW, with hydropower, at 1,230 GW, accounting for the largest share.
'Total renewable capacity in 2020 was reported as 2,802 GW last year and the new figure for 2020 is 2 807 GW (+0.18%),' the report said.
'Solar and wind energy accounted for equal shares of the remainder, with capacities of 849 GW and 825 GW respectively,' the report underlined.
Other renewables included 143 GW of bioenergy, 16 GW of geothermal, and 524 MW of marine energy.
Solar energy continued to lead the capacity expansion, with a 19% increase, corresponding to 133 GW, followed by wind energy with a capacity increase of 13%, equivalent to 93 GW.
-Asia leads for new renewable capacity
Around 60% of new capacity in 2021 was added in Asia, resulting in a total of 1.46 Terawatts (TW) of renewable capacity last year.
China was the biggest contributor, adding 121 GW to the continent's new capacity.
The report showed that Europe and North America, led by the US, took second and third places respectively, with the former adding 39 GW and the latter 38 GW.
Renewable energy capacity grew by 3.9% in Africa and 3.3% in Central America and the Caribbean.
'Despite representing steady growth, the pace in both regions is much slower than the global average, indicating the need for stronger international cooperation to optimize electricity markets and drive massive investments in those regions,' the report added.
By Gulsen Cagatay