Global growth in new renewable energy capacity will decline for the first time in 20 years this year amid the coronavirus pandemic but is expected to pick up next year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated.
The world is set to build fewer wind turbines, solar plants and other installations that produce renewable electricity this year as energy demand has been reduced across commercial and industrial sectors and logistics issues delay projects.
Renewable capacity additions this year are set to total 167 gigawatts (GW), 13 per cent less than last year, according to the IEA’s Renewable Market Update report.
But overall global renewable power capacity is still expanding and will grow by 6 per cent this year.
Slower growth in 2020 reflects delays in construction activity due to supply chain disruptions, lockdown measures and social distancing as well as finance obstacles.
Next year, renewable power additions are forecast to rebound to the level reached in 2019, as delayed projects come online and as supportive government policies continue.
Growth for 2020 and 2021 combined is expected to be 10 per cent lower than the IEA had previously forecast before the coronavirus outbreak.
“Even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the world needed to significantly accelerate the deployment of renewables to have a chance of meeting its energy and climate goals,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.