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Rabat – Despite COVID-19, renewable energy capacities exceeded forecasts in 2020, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The agency said on Monday that more than 260 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity were put into place last year.
The number represents a 50% increase in growth than in 2019.
IRENA’s statistics showed that renewable energy capacities increased considerably in relation to the total of new energy production capacities installed for the second year in a row.
Data shows that more than 80% of all new electrical capacity put in place last year uses renewable energy sources.
Solar and wind account for 91% of this new capacity.
IRENA explained the relative growth of renewables is partly by the decline, in net terms, of the capacity to generate electricity from fossil fuels in Europe, North America, and, for the first time, in Eurasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russian Federation, and Turkey).
The statistics show that 60 GW of new fossil fuel-based capacities were created in total in 2020. The number is compared to 64 GW generated one year earlier. The data shows that the reduced use of fossil fuels continues.
Commenting on the statistics, IRENA General Director Francesco La Camera said that these numbers reveal a “story of resilience and hope.”
The director said that despite uncertainty and challenges in 2020, the renewable energy sector has become a “fundamental source of optimism, for a better, more equitable, resilient, clean, and just future.”
Last year China experienced growth in the sector, with 136 GW of additional capacity, mainly wind (72 GW) and solar (49 GW).
The US acquired 29 GW of energy capacity from renewable sources last year, an increase of 80% than in 2019, and split between solar (15 GW) and solar wind power (approximately 14 GW).
Africa has continued on the path of steady development, with new capacities that have emerged on the continent to the extent of 2.6 GW.
The number represents a slight increase from 2019. Oceania remained the fastest-growing region (+ 18.4%), although it represents only a small fraction of the global capacity and almost all of this expansion has taken place in Australia, the agency explained.
In the last decade, Morocco invested $5.8 billion in renewable projects.
The number represents 37% of the total installed electric power or 20% of the electricity demand in Morocco.
Morocco aims to produce more than 52% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030.
The government asked all partners and operators in Morocco to take into account renewable energy when starting new projects, or ways to reduce energy consumption in current projects.