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May 21, 2020

Covid-19 to “hurt but not halt” renewable power capacity growth

By Yoana Cholteeva

A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), has found that the world is set to build fewer wind turbines, solar plants, and other renewable energy installations this year, because of the impact of Covid-19. However, their growth is expected to resume next year, backed by supportive government policies.

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According to the IEA’s Renewable Market Update report, released today, renewable power sources have so far shown resilience, amid the disruptions and changes caused by the pandemic, with 167GW of renewable power capacity planned to be installed this year, which is a 13% decrease from 2019.

The decline will most likely be caused by possible delays in construction activity, lockdown measures, and social distancing guidelines, as well as emerging financing challenges. Along with delays in new additions, overall global renewable power capacity will still grow by 6% in 2020, which surpasses the total power capacity of North America and Europe combined.

IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol said: “Countries are continuing to build new wind turbines and solar plants, but at a much slower pace. 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.

“Amid today’s extraordinary health and economic challenges, governments must not lose sight of the essential task of stepping up clean energy transitions to enable us to emerge from the crisis on a secure and sustainable path.”

According to the report, in 2021, renewable power additions are forecast to rebound to the level reached in 2019, with significant support coming from the partial commissioning of two mega hydropower projects in China. While the rebound would make a big difference, growth for 2020 and 2021 combined is expected to be 10% lower than the IEA had estimated before the Covid-19 outbreak.

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What's the outlook for low carbon hydrogen?

The development of the hydrogen economy will support the fulfilment of decarbonization objectives, particularly for those sectors that are difficult to electrify, such as heavy industry, long-distance trucking, shipping, and aviation. GlobalData's Hydrogen Service tracks investment in the hydrogen sector, and provides you with:
  • A complete dataset of the low-carbon hydrogen projects across the globe.
  • Latest news across the hydrogen value chain.
  • Quarterly market analysis, with details of new projects, company activity and financial deals.
For more information, and to download sample pages from our quarterly market analysis, including a summary of the active and upcoming low-carbon hydrogen capacity by region, please enter your details.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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