As renewables evade COVID-19 impacts, solar growth is expected to increase in 2021

As renewables evade COVID-19 impacts, solar growth is expected to increase in 2021

By 2025, Solar is projected to account for 60 percent of new additions to renewable energy as it reports steady growth in 2020.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which published a new report showing that renewables as a whole are projected to rise by about 7% this year, thanks to a combination of longterm procurement contracts, priority access to national grids and continuous construction of new plants, the figure has been achieved.

In the IEA's main case, however, it is expected to see an increase to around 117GW of new capacity in 2021. It comes as 2021 is expected to be a strong year for renewable capacity additions in general, with a recordbreaking 10 percent growth expected for the industry.

In 2022, Solar sees even stronger growth, growing to at least 119 GW and having the potential to increase by another 11 GW based on an accelerated deployment case in China and another 19 GW based on other accelerated instances around the world. The highest solar deployment figure for the IEA in 2022 - 148GW - is equal to a 40 percent rise in just three years.
While the solar sector is therefore seeing substantial growth, since the 43 percent reported in 2018, the proportion of total solar additions from rooftop installations has dropped. This downward decline is expected to begin in 2021, when it is expected to drop to around 31%.

However the IEA has also looked forward to 2023, when wind and solar energy are projected to surpass natural gas. Both will also beat coal capacity by 2024, with solar responsible for 60% of all renewable capacity additions by 2025. This follows the IEA in October lauding solar as the "new king" of the power market, forecasting that annual solar additions have the potential to nearly triple by 2030 from today's levels. Fatih Birol, chief executive of the IEA, said, "Renewable power is defying the difficulties created by the pandemic, showing robust growth while other fuels fail."

"The industry's resilience and promising prospects are clearly reflected by investors' continuing strong appetite, and the future looks much brighter with new capacity additions on track to set new records this year and next."

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