Windpower Roundup reports.
Roughly 176GW of new renewable energy capacity was added last year, accounting for 72% of global power growth.
Wind (58.8GW) and solar (97.7GW) accounted for about 90% of the new renewable energy capacity added in 2019, according to Irena’s ‘Renewable Capacity Statistics 2020’ report.
So the wind and sun add 176 GW of capacity, with the extra 10% of RE presumably hydro and odds and ends like biomass. The non-RE 28% of global power growth amounts to some 64GW.
That looks like a great advance for RE until you adjust the numbers to take account of the capacity factor – the amount of the plated/installed capacity that you expect to get over year or so that is near 30% for wind and 20% for solar. The delivery comes down to 20GW each from the wind and the sun for a total of 40GW. And don’t mention the choke point!
In contrast to the RE numbers, the delivery from nuclear and hydrocarbon sources can probably approach 100% although the pricing system and the mandates for RE keep the delivery from coal well below capacity in most parts of the western world at present. (Australian black coal has gone as low as 8.1GW and as high as 16.1 GW and it is mostly between 9.5 and 12.5). If you reduce the 64 to 90% you get 57GW that is well ahead of the 40 from the sun and wind.
Despite the expansion of renewable energy outpacing (sic) fossil fuels, Irena director-general Francesco La Camera said, “more is required to put global energy on a path with sustainable development and climate mitigation”.