Unprecedented Growth in Global Renewable Energy Capacity in 2023
Ecotricity is thrilled to share the news that the world witnessed an extraordinary surge in renewable energy capacity in 2023, as reported by the International Energy Agency (IEA). This remarkable growth, which marks the fastest pace recorded in the last two decades, brings us closer to achieving a pivotal climate target set at Cop28.
In 2023, global additions to renewable energy capacity surged by an astounding 50%, reaching a total of 510 gigawatts (GW). This achievement signifies the 22nd consecutive year of breaking records in renewable capacity additions, as confirmed by the IEA's data.
This 'spectacular' expansion of renewable energy capacity offers a tangible opportunity for governments worldwide to fulfil their commitment made during the Cop28 climate talks in November. The pledge to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030, thereby significantly reducing reliance on fossil fuels, now appears within our grasp, thanks to this substantial growth, as highlighted by the IEA.
The IEA's latest report reveals that solar power played a pivotal role, accounting for a remarkable three-quarters of the new renewable energy capacity installed across the globe in 2023. Notably, a substantial portion of this solar capacity was added in China, surpassing the world's total solar installations from the preceding year. This achievement occurred despite China's reduction of subsidies in 2020 and 2021, showcasing the resilience and potential of solar energy.
The surge in renewable energy is not limited to one region either. Record-breaking growth rates have been observed in Europe, the US, and Brazil, setting renewables on a trajectory to surpass coal as the world's leading source of electricity generation by early 2025, as projected by the IEA. By 2028, renewable energy sources are anticipated to contribute to over 42% of global electricity generation.
Ecotricity applauds the world's collective efforts to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable and greener future. We support a renewable energy target of 110% so more of the economy can decarbonize faster. Already this year, we have seen initial works for the Genesis Energy Lauriston Solar farm kick off, with first power from the project coming in the December quarter this year. Once complete, the solar farm will deliver approximately 100GWh of electricity annually, making it NZ's largest solar farm.
Banner image - Heyuan Queyashan Wind Farm in Guangdong, China.