2015 was a record breaking year for renewable energy
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released on April, Renewable Capacity Statistics 2016. This report presents the renewable power generation capacity for the last decade (2006-2015).
The growth capacity for 2015 was 8.3%, the highest rate ever, with a generation capacity of 1,985 GW at the end of the year. 152 GW was the increase during the year.
“Renewable energy deployment continues to surge in markets around the globe, even in an era of low oil and gas prices. Falling costs for renewable energy technologies, and a host of economic, social and environmental drivers are favoring renewables over conventional power sources,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin in their press release.
Hydropower accounts the largest share of global total with more than 60%. Wind energy accounts 22% and solar energy 11%, other renewable energies include geothermal energy, marine energy (tide wave and ocean) and bioenergy.
Asia has the largest capacity with a 40% global share in generation capacity. This year the region showed a 12.4% increase and generated 797 GW.
Central America and the Caribbean, despite only having 1% of the global share increased their capacity in 14.5% which is the largest growth in the world. The rest of the regions had an average of 5% growth. (South America had a 5.3% increase).
However the report shows the expansion of renewable energies is being focused in few countries that represent over 90% of the total share. For example, regarding wind energy, new capacity was installed in India, China, North America and Europe.
Hydropower, boomed in Brazil, China, India and Turkey where three quarters of new capacity were installed, representing 26.3 GW.
Regarding solar energy at the end of 2015 Europe accounted for 43% of global solar capacity. Asia in 2015 had a 48% increase in new capacity installation, mainly happening in China and Japan.
Geothermal energy increase was focused in four countries, Italy, Mexico, Turkey and the US. It increased about 600MW in 2015.
Lastly, bioenergy was concentrated in Europe (40%) and Asia (30%). Its growth was similarly distributed along the regions.
“Renewables are not just a solution for industrialized countries, they are also powering economic growth in the fastest growing economies in the developing world,” said Mr. Amin.
IRENA is a center for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange between its 146 members (145 countries and the European Union). Other 30 countries are in the entering process. It pursues the development of sustainable development, energy security and access.
From Latin America member states include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.