Apr 6, 2018

Renewables grow and China leads the way

Expand chart
Reproduced from "Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018", UNEP and Bloomberg New Energy Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new report, published by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners, underscores how additions of new renewable power capacity — especially solar — greatly outpaced other sources in 2017. Additions of solar generating capacity alone, led by China which accounted for more than half the increase, outstripped net new fossil fuel capacity, according to the report.

The bottom line: The report underscores both the progress toward a lower-carbon global power mix and the immense challenge of corralling carbon emissions, which grew last year after a 3-year plateau. Nils Stieglitz, president of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, wrote in an accompanying statement: “This shows where we are heading, although the fact that renewables altogether are still far from providing the majority of electricity means that we still have a long way to go."

By the numbers:

  • 157 gigawatts of renewable power capacity were added worldwide last year, with solar accounting for 98 of them.
  • That outpaces the 70 gigawatts of fossil fuel generation capacity added.
  • Renewables are growing fast but from a small base (see chart above). Non-hydro renewables accounted for 61% of new capacity additions last year, but renewables were 12% of global generation.
  • Global investment in renewables rose 2% in 2017 to $279.8 billion.
  • China alone accounted for 45% of that investment and added 53 gigawatts of solar capacity.

Go deeper

Hospitals are starting to get their coronavirus cash infusion

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The federal government is sending $64 billion to hospitals, post-acute facilities and other medical providers to help cope with the coronavirus fallout.

Yes, but: Even though more funding is coming, safety net and rural hospitals fear they are getting a raw deal from the way some of the money is being distributed.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

Biden, Sanders work toward truce on big issues

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden isn’t about to become Bernie Sanders, but he’s signaling that there’s potential for more common ground on issues such as health care, student debt, climate change and more in the weeks ahead.

What to watch: As Biden courts Sanders' endorsement, their teams will hold policy discussions in the next few weeks with the expectation that Biden will incorporate some elements of Sanders' agenda, a person familiar with those plans tells Axios.

Some Trump aides eye May 1 start to coronavirus reopening

President Trump was flanked at yesterday's briefing by HHS Secretary Alex Azar (far left), Vice President Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's aides, encouraged by virus data showing fewer deaths than once projected, are working behind the scenes to deliver on his vow to reopen America "sooner rather than later."

What to watch for: A senior White House official said there’s a lot of internal energy pushing for May 1, because that's the end of the White House's "30 Days to Slow the Spread."