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Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The International Energy Agency has boosted its estimate of renewable power growth this year and now sees installations setting a fresh record.

Why it matters: Wind and solar are proving more resilient to COVID-19 than initially believed as projects and manufacturing "ramped up again quickly" after disruptions in the first half of the year, IEA said.

Driving the news: IEA's new analysis estimates that installed renewable generating capacity will grow by nearly 200 gigawatts this year, which is 18% higher than a previous estimate in May.

IEA also finds that renewables are slated to account for 90% of all new generating capacity additions this year.

What they're saying: "The resilience and positive prospects of the sector are clearly reflected by continued strong appetite from investors," said IEA executive director Fatih Birol.

Where it stands: A big part of this year's growth stems from developers in China and the U.S. rushing to complete projects before incentives lapse, IEA said.

They expect a fresh record next year, with capacity additions jumping in Europe and India, as well as continued recovery from pandemic delays.

Yes, but: IEA's main forecast sees a dip in 2022 thanks to a reduction in incentives in some regions, delayed auctions in Latin America and other forces.

It's a projected slowdown that comes as IEA is among the voices calling for accelerating energy transition to combat climate change.

Two other big findings from IEA's five-year outlook: One is that total installed wind and solar capacity (a reminder that it's not the same thing as actual generation) will surpass natural gas in 2023 and coal in 2024.

The big picture: When all renewables are taken together including hydropower, still the largest renewable generation source, "Renewables will overtake coal to become the largest source of electricity generation worldwide in 2025."

"By that time, they are expected to supply one-third of the world’s electricity," IEA notes. Carbon Brief has more.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 26, 2021 - Energy & Environment

New report pushes UN to rethink electricity goals in developing nations

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It's time for the world's biggest multilateral development agencies to radically reframe their goals around expanding electricity access, a new proposal argues.

Why it matters: The nonprofit Energy for Growth Hub says the UN's current sustainable development goals (SDGs) around power access are too modest and focus too narrowly on residential use.

Alabama trying to use COVID relief funds to expand prisons

Inside the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala., in 2018. Photo: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

Alabama state lawmakers are trying to funnel up to $400 million of the state's American Rescue Plan funds to pay for a $1.3 billion plan to build and renovate prisons across the state, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Diverting dollars from the COVID-relief package, passed in March, is prompting criticism over misuse.

1 hour ago - World

Jake Sullivan discussed human rights and Yemen with Saudi crown prince

MBS in 2018. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed efforts to end the war in Yemen, the de-escalation of regional tensions with Iran, and Saudi Arabia's human rights record in their meeting on Monday, a senior U.S. official told Axios.

Why it matters: This was Sullivan's first trip to the Middle East since taking up his post in January, and he was the most senior visitor to the kingdom so far from the Biden administration, which has kept the crown prince at arm's length over his roles in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen.