Almost three-quarters of new electricity

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  • 07 Apr 2020
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New Renewable Energy Capacity Hit Record Levels in 2019

Almost three-quarters of new electricity generation capacity built in 2019 uses renewable energy, representing an all-time record. New data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) shows solar, wind and other green technologies now provide more than one-third of the world’s power, marking another record. Fossil fuel power plants are in decline in Europe and the US, with more decommissioned than built in 2019. But the number of coal and gas plants grew in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In the Middle East, which owns half the world’s oil reserves, just 26 percent of new electricity generation capacity built in 2019 was renewable. The world has invested about $3 trillion in renewables over the past decade, according to Irena, but annual investments must double by 2030 to tackle the climate emergency. Francesco La Camera, director general of Irena, said the huge spending planned by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic must support green initiatives rather than fossil fuels and not be tempted by short-term solutions.

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