As World Burns, Clean Energy Growth Stalls for First Time in Nearly Two Decades
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
By Brian Kahn
We need a lot more clean energy. And the world is not installing it fast enough.
According to a report released on Monday by the International Energy Agency (IEA), installations of renewable energy plateaued in 2018 for the first time in nearly two decades of record keeping. Even if it’s just a temporary hiccup, a pause in installations is an extremely worrisome sign about the world’s ambition to address climate change.
The world added 177 gigawatts of renewable energy to the grid last year, matching 2017’s total. The last time the world didn’t see year over year growth in renewable capacity additions was 2001.
While last year’s capacity additions to the grid provides enough juice to power 64 million Americans homes, the plateau is troubling. According to the IEA, renewable capacity has to grow by 300 gigawatts per year until 2030 for the world to have any hope of reaching the Paris Agreement goals.
“The world cannot afford to press ‘pause’ on the expansion of renewables and governments need to act quickly to correct this situation and enable a faster flow of new projects,” Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director, said in a statement.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.