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Global Renewables Capacity Grows 8.7%, Exceeds 2000 GW

Global renewable energy capacity increased 8.7% last year, grew by 161 gigawatts, and exceeded a total of 2000 GW for the first time, according to Renewable Energy Capacity Statistics 2017, published this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency.

“We are witnessing an energy transformation taking hold around the world, and this is reflected in another year of record-breaking additions in new renewable energy capacity,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “This growth in deployment emphasizes the increasingly strong business case for renewables, which also have multiple socio-economic benefits in terms of fueling economic growth, creating jobs, and improving human welfare and the environment.”

But Amin warned that renewable energy deployment still falls short of the pace required to hit global climate targets. “Accelerating this momentum will require additional investment in order to move decisively towards decarbonizing the energy sector.”

IRENA reports that the world added a record 71 GW of new solar capacity, 51 GW of wind, 30 GW of new hydro, 9 GW of bioenergy, and nearly a gigawatt of geothermal.

“Asia has cemented its position as the world’s most important renewable energy market, accounting for 58% of new renewable additions in 2016, and taking its installed capacity to 812 GW or roughly 41% of global capacity,” BusinessGreen reports. “Asia was also the fastest growing region, with a 13.1% increase in renewable capacity.” Africa doubled its new installations between 2015 and 2016, with 4.1 GW of additional capacity.