Rise in the share of renewables in the British power mix between 2000 and 2018.
The share of renewable energy sources (RES, including hydropower) within the global power generation mix, which has been rising quickly since the end of the 2000’s, grew by nearly 1 percentage point (+0.8 pts) in 2018, to almost 26%.
Most of the growth comes from new wind and solar capacity, supported by ambitious climate policies in the European Union, the United States, China, India, Japan and Australia, and by the dramatic fall in solar and wind development costs over recent years, enabling developing countries to expand their renewable capacity base. Favourable hydro conditions raised renewable power generation in Europe, Brazil, India, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.
Renewables now cover 36% of the power mix in Europe, 26% in China and around 18% in the United States, India and Japan.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), a total of 60.4 GW of wind capacity was installed worldwide in 2019 (19% more than in 2018), raising the global wind capacity by 10% to more than 650 GW.
According to the Indian government, the installed carbon-free capacity in the country increased by 72% between late March 2014 and the end of February 2020, from 81 GW to 139 GW. Around 55% of new installations between 2014 and 2020 (58 GW) were solar power plants (32 GW), followed by wind (17 GW, 29%) and large hydro (5 GW, 8%). In addition, 2.8 GW of other renewable sources (biomass, small-hydropower and waste-to-energy) and 2 GW of nuclear were added. Total investment in the Indian carbon-free energy sector reached US$75bn over the 2014-2020 period, with foreign direct investments accounting for 8% of it (US$6bn).
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the global offshore wind power capacity increased by 6.1 GW to 29.5 GW in 2019. Offshore wind installations accelerated compared with 2018, when 4.5 GW were added, and accounted for 10% of the new wind power installations.
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), power generation in the Netherlands rose by 5.7% in 2019 to nearly 121 TWh (+6.5 TWh for net power generation). Most of the increase came from thermal power plants, especially from gas-fired power plants, whose power generation surged by 23% (+13 TWh at 71 TWh) in a context of low gas prices and high carbon prices; meanwhile, coal-fired power generation fell by 34% (-10 TWh at 17.4 TWh). According to CBS, renewable power generation rose by 18.5% (+3.5 TWh at 22.4 TWh) in 2019 (+8.5% for wind, including +14% for onshore wind, and +40% for solar), exceeding coal-fired power generation for the first time.