REN21: PV accounts for 55 percent of newly installed renewable power capacity in 2017

Renewable power accounted for 70 percent of net additions to global power generating capacity in 2017, but global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent in 2017, after three years of holding steady, according to REN21’s »Renewables 2018 Global Status Report« (GSR). Renewable power generating capacity saw its largest annual increase ever in 2017, with an estimated 178 GW installed world­wide, raising total capacity by almost 9 percent over 2016. PV led the way, accounting for nearly 55 percent of newly installed renewable power capacity, says the report. More PV capacity was added in 2017 than the net additions of fossil fuels and nuclear power combined.
Investment in new renewable power capacity was more than twice that of net, new fossil fuel and nuclear power capacity combined, despite large, ongoing subsidies for fossil fuel generation. More than two-thirds of investments in power generation were in renewables in 2017. Investment in renewables was regionally concentrated: China, Europe and the United States accounted for nearly 75 percent of global investment in renewables in 2017.
Solar photovoltaics was again the largest employer, primarily because installations of solar PV dominated new renewable energy installations by a large margin. Global employment in PV was estimated at 3.4 million jobs in 2017, 9 percent higher than in 2016. As the leading PV manufacturer and market, China accounted for two-thirds of these jobs, or some 2.2 million. India registered strong growth in grid-connected installations, with an estimated 92,000 jobs in this segment. The United States, by contrast, recorded the first decline ever in solar PV employment, reflecting a slowing pace of installations as well as policy uncertainties. Solar PV employment also declined in Japan and in the European Union. According to REN21, »Solar PV represented a significant source of jobs in the renewable energy sectors of a number of countries, including – in Asia – Bangladesh, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Turkey, as well as other countries such as Australia, Mexico and South Africa.«
REN21’s »Renewables 2018 Global Status Report« presents developments and trends through the end of 2017, as well as observed trends from early 2018 where available. First published in 2005, the annual report does not provide analysis or forecast. Data are provided by a network of 900 contributors, researchers, and authors from all over the world.

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