Solar To Headline Double-Digit Renewable Power Capacity Growth In 2019

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Global capacity additions of renewable power are expected to bounce back with double-digit growth in 2019, according to the International Energy Agency, led by a resurgent performance from the solar PV industry which is expected to see growth of over 17% and capacity of 115 gigawatts (GW) by year’s end.

Roserock Solar Facility
Roserock Solar Facility, Texas
Photo courtesy of Recurrent Energy

Overall, the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects renewable capacity additions to grow by almost 12% in 2019 — the fastest pace since 2015. By year’s end, the IEA expects almost 200 GW of new renewable power capacity to have been installed around the globe. Global solar PV additions are expected to dominate, increasing by over 17% and installing 115 GW of new capacity — despite a slight decline in China’s solar capacity additions. With the cost of solar PV having plummeted over 80% since 2010 — making the technology significantly cost-competitive in many countries — the IEA expects solar to account for more than half of global renewable additions for the third year in a row.

And while China’s solar industry will likely see a decline, the IEA expects this to be offset by faster-than-expected expansion in the European Union — to be led by Spain; new installations spiking in Vietnam as developers rush to complete projects before cuts to incentives; and faster growth in India and the United States.

“These latest numbers give us many reasons to celebrate: Renewable electricity additions are now growing at their fastest pace in four years after a disappointing 2018,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “We are witnessing a drastic decline in the cost of solar power together with strong growth in onshore wind. And offshore wind is showing encouraging signs.”

“These technologies are the mainstays of the world’s efforts to tackle climate change, reduce air pollution and provide energy access to all. The stark difference between this year’s trend and last year’s demonstrates the critical ability of government policies to change the trajectory we are on.”

Other renewable technologies will also contribute to a strong year, with higher onshore wind growth expected to rise by 15% to 53 GW — the largest increase since record deployment in 2015 — while offshore wind growth is expected to remain stable at around 5 GW in 2019.

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

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