Renewable energies have grown exponentially on all continents since 2013. But this strong growth has unexpectedly slowed down in 2018, raising concerns about the ability of the international community to achieve long-term climate goals.
Will the year 2019 succeed in reversing the trend?
2019, year of resumption of double-digit growth?
According to the forecasts of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the growth of the global renewable park could return to its cruising speed this year. According to a forecast study published this Friday, September 20, green energy should indeed see their installed capacity increase by more than 200 GW worldwide in 2019.
The global renewable park is expected to grow by 12% compared to last year. Double-digit growth unpublished since 2015 according to IEA experts.
“Renewables are the backbone of global efforts to address climate change, reduce air pollution and provide access to energy for all. The marked difference between this year’s trend and that of last year demonstrates the crucial ability of government policies to change the trajectory we follow.”, said Fatih Birol, the director of the Agency.
Photovoltaic solar energy, leader of this growth
The vigorous growth of renewable energies in 2019 will be once again to blame solar and wind technologies.
Global photovoltaic production capacity is expected to increase by 17% in 2019 thanks to the commissioning of a total cumulative power of 117 GW. This growth is all the more remarkable as it would be the first time that the world park would exceed 100 GW of new installations in one year.
Wind energy will also contribute to the vitality of the renewable sector by adding 57.6 GW of additional power by the end of the year.
The onshore wind should see its power increase by 15% thanks to China and the United States; the offshore turbine sector will continue to grow with an additional installed capacity of 5 GW.
“We are witnessing the drastic decline in solar costs and strong growth in onshore wind, and offshore wind is showing encouraging signs. These technologies are the bedrock of global efforts to reduce global warming, air pollution and also provide energy for all”, welcomes the director of the IEA.
2018, the year of the slowdown in growth
Between 2017 and 2018, the power of the global renewable park had increased by 180 GW. A good progression in absolute terms but which nevertheless showed a stagnation in the growth of clean energies: after a positive yearly growth since 2001, the renewable knew its first year of stagnation.
The growth of the global renewable park had been stopped quite unexpectedly by China’s shift in its policy of supporting solar energy.
Anxious to limit costs and better manage the integration of photovoltaic production into its electricity grid, the government of the Middle Kingdom had suddenly stopped subsidizing solar projects.
“This shows the critical role of governments in the deployment of renewables and the need to avoid sudden policy changes that can generate high market volatility”, explains the IEA in its report.
For now, all these figures are just statistical projections. It is therefore necessary to moderate these good results and wait for the final figures that the IEA will publish in its annual report on October 21st.