Solar PV to lead addt’l RE capacity in 2022: IEA

Global renewable energy installations are expected to reach around 300GW.

Additional renewable energy capacity in 2022 is expected to increase by over 8% year-on-year, reaching the 300-gigawatt (GW) mark for the first time, driven by the solar photovoltaics (PV) sector in China and the European Union.

In a report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said solar installation will account for 60% of the increase this year with the commissioning of 190GW, increasing by 25% YoY.

“Utility-scale projects account for almost two-thirds of overall PV expansion in 2022, mostly driven by a strong policy environment in China and the European Union driving faster deployment,” it said.

The IEA also said that the new global onshore wind installations are expected to “slightly recover” and reach almost 80GW, following a 32% YoY decline last year. Offshore wind, on the other hand, is seen to decline by 40% YoY following the four-fold jump in China last year because of the national subsidy phase-out deadline.

Despite this decline, the agency said the global offshore wind capacity additions will still double compared to 2020 because of the “continuation of provincial incentives in China and the expansion in the European Union.” 

“As a result, China is expected to have the largest cumulative installed offshore wind capacity globally and surpass the European Union and the United Kingdom combined by the end of this year,” it said.

The IEA added that global renewable capacity additions are expected to remain stronger in 2023 unless new and stronger policies will be implemented.

However, 40% lower hydropower additions because of the reduced project pipeline in China holds back capacity growth in the global renewable energy market, despite expectations that solar will break another record to reach almost 200GW in 2023, as well as the expansion of wind and maintained the stability of bioenergy.

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