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Global Renewable energy surpasses fossil fuel power additions for the first time ever in 2015

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Renewable energy capacity additions has been rapidly increasing in the last few years, turbo charged by the rapid growth in solar energy capacity. While wind power capacity has been quite high, cheap solar power has doubled the rate of renewable energy capacity additions. RE capacity addition was more than 53% of the total global capacity addition in 2015, and it was the first time that RE was more than half of the total capacity addition. Even though investment did not increase too much mainly due to a slowdown in Europe, the capacity addition as 118 GW was 20% more than 2014. Solar energy and wind energy roughly made half and half of the total capacity.

China led the way accounting for 40% of the global RE capacity addition, as well as 40% of the total investment at more than $100 billion. Next came USA at $44 billion followed by Japan at $36 billion. India and Brazil also ramped up their investment in RE with $10 billion in investment. India will keep on increasing its power capacity in RE, as it has committed to achieving 40% of its power capacity through RE power by 2030. Brazil has also significantly increased its RE commitments with major power auctions for wind and solar energy. Countries like South Africa and Turkey are also making major pushes for green energy growth.

IRENA has reported that $286 billion of investments was made into renewable energy, which was 5% more than what was made in 2014. The important thing to note is that despite these massive investments RE forms less than 10% of the overall cumulative capacity, as a massive number of gas and coal power plants continue to emit massive amount of GHG. Not only will new growth in power demand require renewable energy, but replacement of the old and retiring coal and gas power plants also require solar and wind energy capacity.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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