Around 83 percent of all power capacity added last year was produced by renewable energy, which is derived from natural sources that are replenished at a higher rate than they are consumed.

This spike was largely due to the growth of solar power, which accounted for almost two-thirds of the renewable additions at a record 192 GW.
This spike was largely due to the growth of solar power, which accounted for almost two-thirds of the renewable additions at a record 192 GW. (AP)

The world's renewable energy capacity increased by 9.6 percent, or 295 gigawatts (GW) last year, amounting to a total of 3,372 GW.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an intentional organisation that supports countries in their transition to using sustainable energy, revealed the findings in a recent report published on Tuesday.

It said that renewables delivered 83 percent of all electricity capacity installed last year, indicating that despite global uncertainties, sustainable energy continues to grow at record levels while fossil fuel dependency decreases.

IRENA's Director-General Francesco La Camera said the report "reaffirms renewables as the de-facto energy choice for new power generation, despite the effects of recent global crises and geopolitical shocks on the energy sector."

La Camera praised this record year as encouraging for countries around the world redesigning their national energy planning strategies to favour renewables.

However, in order to limit global temperature increases to 1.5° Celsius, the world needs an increase of three times the current level (more than 1,000 GW) until 2050.

"While this is an ambitious target —as the gap between what is needed and what is implemented widens — the capacity progress reported here for 2022 reflects ongoing global efforts to transform the power sector," La Camera added.

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Sudden spike in solar power

This spike was largely due to the growth of solar power, which accounted for almost two-thirds of the renewable additions at a record 192 GW. 

Meanwhile, 75 GW of wind energy was added last year, a decrease from the 111 GW added in 2020. Of this, the majority was created by onshore wind energy sources (66 GW). 

This is compared to 9 GW offshore wind energy, which generates electricity from wind blowing across the sea and is typically more efficient than onshore sources due to the higher speed of winds.

In addition, around 30 GW of water energy (hydropower) was added, of which 21 GW was renewable hydropower.

Globally, countries in Asia had the highest total renewable energy at 1,630 GW, followed by Europe at 709 GW and North America at 489 GW. Meanwhile, African countries made up 59 GW and the Middle East contributed only 29 GW.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies