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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.

10 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

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