Global Renewable Capacity Addition in numbers For 2021 from IRENA

Highlights :

  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) produces comprehensive statistics on a range of topics related to renewable energy.
  • The latest report, Renewable Capacity Statistics 2022, presents renewable power generation capacity statistics for the past decade (2012-2021) in trilingual tables.

“At the end of 2021, global renewable generation capacity amounted to 3064 GW. Hydropower accounted for the largest share of the global total, with a capacity of 1230 GW,” finds a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Solar and wind energy accounted for equal shares of the remainder, with capacities of 849 GW and 825 GW respectively. Other renewables included 143 GW of bioenergy and 16 GW of geothermal, plus 524 MW of marine energy.

Expansion in Asia was 76 GW in 2021 (compared to +77 GW in 2020), with major capacity increases in China (+53.0 GW) and India (+10.3 GW). Japan also added 4.4 GW and Republic of Korea expanded solar capacity by almost 3.6 GW.

Renewable generation capacity increased by 257 GW (+9.1%) in 2021. Solar energy continued to lead capacity expansion, with an increase of 133 GW (+19%), followed by wind energy with 93 GW (+13%). Hydropower capacity increased by 19 GW (+2%) and bioenergy by 10 GW (+8%). Geothermal energy increased by 1.6 GW.

Renewable power generation capacity is measured as the maximum net generating capacity of power plants and other installations that use renewable energy sources to produce electricity. For most countries and technologies, the data reflects the capacity installed and connected at the end of the calendar year. For this statistical report, data has been obtained from a variety of sources, including an IRENA questionnaire, official national statistics, industry association reports, other reports and news articles.

Solar and wind energy continued to dominate renewable capacity expansion, jointly accounting for 88% of all net renewable additions in 2021. Along with the higher growth of geothermal, this growth in wind and solar led to a high annual increase in renewable generating capacity.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) produces comprehensive statistics on a range of topics related to renewable energy. The latest report, Renewable Capacity Statistics 2022, presents renewable power generation capacity statistics for the past decade (2012-2021) in trilingual tables.

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