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Expand chart
Data: IEA; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

The International Energy Agency just issued a big upward revision to estimates of near-term global renewable power growth.

Driving the news: The agency's latest data shows that new capacity additions surged to almost 280 gigawatts last year despite the pandemic.

  • That's 45% higher than 2019 and the largest year-over-year jump in two decades.

Why it matters: IEA said that scale of new capacity additions is the "new normal."

  • They project about 270 GW this year and another 280 in 2022, with renewables accounting for 90% of power generating capacity additions globally.
  • Those combined gigawatt levels are 25% higher than their prior projections in November, with IEA boosting forecasts for all major markets.
  • Their 2021–2022 regional outlook sees growth slowing in China — the world's largest market — and slightly in the U.S. compared to 2020, but accelerating in Europe, India and Latin America.

The big picture: "Wind and solar power are giving us more reasons to be optimistic about our climate goals as they break record after record," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.

Yes, but: The global power system is still dominated by fossil fuels and global emissions are far off track from the Paris Agreement goals.

  • Governments must "build on this promising momentum" with policies that spur even higher investments in renewables and grid infrastructure, Birol said in a statement.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The mental health deal boom

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The positive social media response to Simone Biles withdrawing from Olympic competition highlights how the artificial line between health care and mental health care is finally beginning to dissolve. And startup investors have taken notice.

By the numbers: Venture capital investments in mental health startups rose 72.6% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, per CB Insights.

2 hours ago - Health

Israel to offer third COVID vaccine dose to people over 60

A woman receives her third dose of COVID19 vaccine at Sheba Medical Center on July 14, 2021 in Israel. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Israel will begin offering a third shot of the coronavirus vaccine to people over the age of 60 starting Sunday, Haaretz reports.

Why it matters: Israel will become the first country to begin giving booster shots, per Haaretz. The country will offer doses to those over 60 who received their second dose at least five months ago.

Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

U.S. economy grew at a 6.5% rate last quarter, missing expectations

Contractors work on a home under construction. (Photo: Micah Green/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The U.S. economy grew at an annualized 6.5% rate last quarter, the government said Thursday — slower than the 8.4% economists expected.

Why it matters: It came as the economy made strides toward further reopening, vaccinations rolled out and government stimulus bolstered spending. But supply crunches held the pace of growth back.

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