2021: Another Year for Record Growth in Renewable Energy
The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently announced that 2021 was another record year for renewable energy, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and rising costs for raw materials worldwide.
In this article, we are going to discuss recent and future trends in the renewable energy sector and the reasons behind the rapid increase in renewables worldwide.
How much has the renewable energy sector grown?
The renewable energy sector has grown rapidly in recent years. According to ourworldindata, in 2010, wind and solar energy combined accounted for just 1.7% of global electricity generation. This increased to 8.7% in 2020 and 2021 was another record year for growth in the renewable energy sector.
The IEA Renewables 2021 Report states that there was roughly 290GW of new renewable energy generation capacity installed worldwide in 2021, mostly in the form of solar panels and wind turbines. This equates to the output of more than 900 million solar panels, which has the capacity to power thirty-one billion, nine hundred million LED light bulbs.
IEA estimates that global renewable electricity capacity will reach over 4800 GW by 2026, which shows a 60% increase from 2020 levels. This would be equivalent to the current total global power capacity of fossil fuels and nuclear combined.
Why is renewable energy becoming so popular?
The IEA believes that stronger support from government policies is driving the change and encouraging the uptake of renewable energy. The shift towards renewables has also been driven by climate change targets made before and during the COP26 Climate Change Conference, which took place in November 2021.
Governments and organisations around the world have set ambitious carbon reduction targets as they strive towards net-zero by 2050 or sooner. Renewable energy will play an essential role in helping governments meet their environmental responsibilities.
Renewable energy is also becoming more popular as businesses recognise the benefits that renewable solutions can bring. Companies across a wide range of sectors - including manufacturing, agricultural and industrial - are switching to renewables and benefiting from lower energy bills and improved brand image.
Consumers are becoming more eco-conscious and want to support green brands. Public support for renewables is growing and this is driving the uptake of green energy.
Price reduction is another reason why solar panel installations have increased in recent years. The solar industry has grown and evolved in recent years, and solar panel systems have become cheaper as a result.
Renewable energy will play a crucial role in achieving Net Zero targets
Renewables are the backbone of energy transition and decarbonisation. Embracing renewable energy will be crucial if governments and organisations are going to achieve their net-zero emissions targets by 2050 or sooner.
According to IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol: “This year’s record renewable electricity additions of 290 gigawatts are another sign that a new global energy economy is emerging.” The uptake of renewable energy is marking the way for a cleaner and greener future.
Future trends in renewable energy
As mentioned above, the IEA annual report forecasts that global renewable electricity capacity will increase by more than 60% by 2026 when compared to 2020 levels. They estimate that renewables will account for roughly 95% of the increase in global power capacity by 2026, with solar PV alone providing more than half.
Commercial solar panels installations have soared in recent years and solar is becoming an attractive alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Solar power provides several short and long-term business benefits. For example, our experts explain that businesses can significantly reduce their overheads by generating their own electricity from high-yielding solar panels.
Installing solar panels allows businesses to demonstrate their support for a sustainable future, which in turn, may help them attract new clients and customers. This is especially true as the wider public becomes more eco-conscious and supportive of green brands.
It has never been more important for business owners to be environmentally responsible and take action to reduce their carbon emissions. Installing solar panels is the ideal way to create a greener brand and work towards net-zero.
Get in touch with the solar experts at Mypower if you would like to discuss how solar panels could benefit your business.