Zim Govt, CBOs, Private sector commit to Renewable Energy Development

The International Renewable Energy Agency reported total global renewable energy capacity increased last year by 161 gigawatts, reaching 2,000 GW by the end of the year.

"We are witnessing an energy transformation taking hold around the world, and this is reflected in another year of record breaking additions in new renewable energy capacity", IRENA's director-general Adnan Z. Amin said.

The Abu Dhabi-based agency estimated that total installed renewable energy capacity topped 2,000GW for the first time late last year, reaching 2,006GW of installed capacity thanks to a surge in solar deployments last year.

Geothermal energy capacity increased by less than 1GW.

In 2016, China added 30 GW of new solar capacity - or roughly enough solar panels to cover three soccer fields every hour, according to the report.

"Both countries are now focused on "digesting" the vast amounts of new renewable energy capacity added in recent years", the report said. Solar grew by a record 71 GW.

CTF is part of ADB's United States dollars 5.8 billion corpus under Climate Investment Funds aimed at providing developing countries resources to utilise low carbon technologies and transitioning to clean, renewable energy sources.

It also notes that the solar industry created one out of every 50 new jobs in the U.S. a year ago, while wind turbine technician is America's fastest-growing occupation. Africa installed 4.1GW of capacity a year ago, twice as much as 2015.

Despite efforts being made to expand the grid's generation capacity, population growth and energy demand are growing fast and the grid is failing to keep pace. China accounted for 34 GW of the new capacity.

The world's renewable generation capacity surged past the 2,000GW threshold previous year, largely driven by strong solar energy growth.

The report adds that he rollout of renewables is now set to accelerate as costs continue to fall, with IRENA projecting onshore wind costs will fall a further 26 per cent through to 2025, while offshore wind costs are expected to fall 35 per cent and utility-scale solar PV costs drop 57 per cent. "This is particularly true for nonprofits that serve low-income communities, which are most in need of cost savings and resiliency benefits from solar+storage, but often have limited resources available to access new technology solutions". In total, five nations have amassed a 52% share of the bioenergy market: Germany, India, the US, Brazil and, of course, China.

The clean energy arm of Hindustan Power has commissioned its second solar power plant of 50 MW capacity in Punjab at an investment cost of Rs 325 crore.

"By comparing high-resolution solar resource data at various locations, we were able to identify, and secure investments in the most promising sites for solar photovoltaic power plants in Punjab", Hindustan Power Chairman Ratul Puri said in a statement.

  • Arturo Norris