Renewable energy has been gaining lot of ground the past few years. A report by the International Energy Agency can attest to this. It says that in 2015, “For the first time, renewables accounted for more than half of net annual additions to power capacity and overtook coal in terms of cumulative installed capacity in the world.” The report shows that the annual capacity growth of renewable energy has reached an all-time high of about 153 gigawatts (GW). This milestone was achieved due to record additions of on-shore wind and solar photovoltaics contributing 63 GW and 49 GW respectively.
The report also mentions the reduction of generation costs with the “record-low long-term remuneration prices ranging from USD 30/megawatt hours (MWh) to USD 50/MWh for both onshore wind and solar (PV) plants.” One particularly stunning statistic shows that, every day, 500,000 solar panels are being installed across the globe.
Policy changes and better market prospects have given renewables a favorable environment to expand in four key regions, the US, EU, China, and India. China leads the whole world in terms renewable energy expansion where it achieved 40 percent growth. This is due to its desire to lower air pollution and its policies that favor renewables.
The report serves as a huge milestone for both solar and wind power. It could promote renewables to other countries that are still skeptical of renewable energy. This also comes as great news ahead of the ratification of the Paris agreement which aims to lower emissions of all the nations who signed. The achievement of this agreement depend on countries adopting clean energy. With its zero emissions and with a price that is falling, renewable energy is really starting to more sense than ever before.