Global solar, wind capacity expands by 226 GW in 2021, BP Environmental Protection 2022-07-01 09:27:15

Solar and wind capacity expanded quickly last year, increasing by 226 GW together globally, close to the record increase of 236 GW in 2020, according to BP's annual statistical review report.

China remained the main driver of solar and wind capacity growth last year, accounting for about 36% and 40% of the global capacity additions, respectively.

Renewable energy generation increased significantly in 2019-2021, while fossil fuel consumption was broadly unchanged over the same period, according to the report.

Renewable energy (incl. biofuels but excl. hydro) rose 15% year on year in 2021, stronger than 2020's 9% and higher than any other power sources last year.

Hydroelectricity generation decreased by around 1.4% in 2021, the first fall since 2015. In contrast, nuclear generation increased by 4.2% – the strongest increase since 2004 – led by China.

Electricity generation increased by 6.2% in 2021, still dominated by coal with its share rising to 36% from 35.1% in 2020.

Wind and solar together accounted for 10.2%, exceeding the 10% contribution for the first time. Natural gas in power generation increased 2.6% in 2021, although its share decreased from 23.7% in 2020 to 22.9% in 2021.

The rapid economic recovery also led to a 5.7% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from energy use, roughly similar to 2019 levels. "The pronounced dip in carbon emissions in 2020 was only temporary," BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said in the report.

"Energy demand and emissions bounced back to around pre-pandemic levels in 2021, reversing the temporary reduction in 2020 resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic," the report said.

(Writing by Alex Guo  Editing by Tammy Yang)
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