Stories

Solar energy use is on the rise worldwide

Reproduced from REN21; Chart: Axios Visuals

As the U.S. solar market continues to grow, a new report offers a nice snapshot of the global picture on solar and other renewables.

The big picture: "Solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind are now mainstream options in the power sector, with an increasing number of countries generating more than 20% of their electricity with solar PV and wind," notes the report from the group REN21.

Check out the chart above, which shows that installed global solar PV capacity reached 505 gigawatts last year.

Threat level: While renewable power is increasingly mainstream, the report from REN21 — a coalition of governments, NGOs, industry groups and more — flashes a bunch of warning signs.

  • It notes the worldwide growth rate of new renewable capacity additions has leveled off.
  • And, it argues, the pace of movement to renewables outside the power system is far too slow as global CO2 emissions keep rising.

The bottom line: "The lack of ambitious and sustained policies to drive decarbonisation in the heating, cooling and transport sectors means that countries are not maximising the benefits of the transition — including cleaner air and energy security — for their populations," states the Renewables 2019 Global Status Report.

Go deeper: The global transition to clean energy, explained in 12 charts (Vox)