The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) announced that, observed globally, electricity generation capacity using renewable energy sources continued to grow. By the end of 2021, global production capacity from renewable sources amounted to 3 064 gigawatts (GW), increasing RES capacity by 9.1 percent.
Although hydropower plants still occupy the largest share in the total installed global capacity of RES power plants with 1 230 GW, the latest data show that the share of wind and solar power plants in newly built capacities in 2021 was as much as 88%. However, despite the great growth of RES power plants, IRENA CEO Francesco La Camera said that renewable energy sources must grow at a faster pace in order to achieve climate goals and energy demand.
According to IRENA data, the growth of capacity at RES in 2021, according to the technology, looked like this:
Hydropower: The growth of hydropower plants has been steadily increasing in 2021, taking into account the postponement of the commissioning of several major projects.
Wind energy: Wind expansion continued at a lower rate in 2021 compared to 2020 (+93 GW in 2021, compared to +111 GW in 2020).
Solar energy: With a 19% increase in new capacity, total global solar capacity has now outgrown wind energy capacity.
Bioenergy: Net capacity expansion increased in 2021 (+ 20.3 GW in 2021 compared to +9.1 GW in 2020).
Geothermal energy: Geothermal capacity had a remarkable growth in 2021, with an addition of 1.6 GW.
Off-grid power plants: Off-grid capacity increased by 466 MW in 2021 (+ 4%) and reached 11.2 GW.