Management of COVID-19 effects on renewable energy new installations – Part 1

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted renewable energy plans for many countries, but not so much for others. This can be attributed to way the respective countries have managed to carry out effective pandemic damage-control.

China managed to add over two times the renewable energy installation of 2019’s capacity addition, while India’s renewable energy installation reduced close to two times in the same time. As a matter of fact, in the solar photovoltaic segment, China has maintained its lead since 2013. However this time with a more striking increase during that time, (166% increase compared to 2019). 

Such a whopping increase can be a signal to the Chinese government to increase its renewable energy installations. However, a new proposal in China’s National Development and Reform Commission suggests phasing out subsidies to newly registered centralized, decentralized commercial and industrial-scale solar PV Projects that have been approved by the central government. It is important to note that in late March the country’s People’s Bank confirmed financial support for companies involved in the development of solar and wind installations. The resolution to this conflicting situation can be expected in the additional National and Provincial Plans which will be revealed later this year based on the approval of the 14th Five-year plan. 

In this article we will lay out the key facts and figures of the renewable energy sector in the globe in 2020. Following this, each technology share including solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar power, off/onshore wind power, hydropower, bioenergy, and geothermal as well as the percentage of the leading countries shares are presented in the second part.

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Derived facts of renewable energy installation in 2020 are as following:

  • Renewable energy installation ramped up close to 50% as compared to 2019. In numbers, this translates to 260 GW in 2020 as compared with 176 GW of the previous year. 
  • Solar and wind power have formed the biggest slice of this cake, accounting for 48.8% (127GW) and 42.7% (111 GW) shares respectively.
  • China was the leading country among others in Solar PV, concentrated solar power, onshore wind power as well as Bioenergy installations.
  • China accounted for more than 50% of the total renewable energy installation in 2020.
  • One of the biggest losers of solar energy installation in 2020 was India. The country missed its previous third rank.
  • 80% of new capacity addition for electricity generation came from renewable energy.

This story is continued in the next part…

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