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Photovoltaic power station operated by State Power Investment Corporation on June 3 in Shanxi Province, China. Photo:Shi Gangze/VCG via Getty Images

Renewables are attracting substantial investment and developers are getting more bang for the buck, but none of it is enough to be consistent with the goals of the Paris climate agreement, per a data-rich new report from the Frankfurt School, the UN and BloombergNEF.

The big picture: Last year saw 184 gigawatts of new capacity added worldwide (excluding large hydro projects) — the most ever — with solar leading the way. The 12% growth came even though total investment was flat, a sign of continued cost declines for wind and solar technologies.

Threat level: The pandemic is creating near-term headwinds for growth.

Yes, but: Even putting the pandemic problems aside, the analysis says the long-term investment picture is not robust enough. From the report...

"Governments and companies around the world have committed to adding some 826 gigawatts of new non-hydro renewable power capacity in the decade to 2030, at a likely cost of around $1 trillion."
"Those commitments fall far short of what would be needed to limit world temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius. They also look modest compared to the $2.7 trillion invested during the 2010-2019 decade."

What's next: Per the authors, what should be next is for governments to stitch low-carbon energy initiatives into their pandemic response plans.

  • "If governments take advantage of the ever-falling price tag of renewables to put clean energy at the heart of COVID-19 economic recovery, instead of subsidizing the recovery of fossil-fuel industries, they can take a big step towards clean energy and a healthy natural world," it states.

Go deeper: Renewable energy group declares cost "turning point"

Go deeper

Sep 17, 2020 - World

Prime minister pledges 100% renewable energy generation in New Zealand by 2030

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand, this month. Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

New Zealand's prime minister has pledged to achieve 100% renewable energy in the country by 2030 if her party wins re-election in October.

Why it matters: NZ plunged on Thursday into its worst recession in over 30 years, after its GDP fell 12.2% following two straight quarters of negative growth amid some of the world's toughest pandemic restrictions, though the drop was less than the 23.5% decrease projected in the May budget.

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.

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