IRENA says global solar capacity rose by 345.5 GW in 2023

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An additional 345.5 GW of solar was deployed throughout the world in 2023, according to official figures from IRENA, published in its Renewable Energy Capacity Statistics 2024 report.

These numbers differ substantially from figures released in February by BloombergNEF, which said global newly installed PV capacity reached approximately 444 GW last year.

IRENA’s figures represent a 32.2% increase on 2022 levels and are a record for a single calendar year. Solar represented roughly 73% of total renewable-energy deployments last year, at 473 GW overall.

The agency said that China contributed 63% of new solar capacity last year by deploying an additional 216.9 GW, with Asia as a whole installing 237.7 GW. The United States, Germany, and Brazil added 24.8 GW, 14.3 GW, and 11.9 GW of solar capacity in 2023, respectively.

However, IRENA said that as growth is unevenly distributed throughout the world, the planet risks falling short of what is required to triple renewable power capacity to reach 11 TW by 2030.

IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said the world now needs annual additions of about 1,050 GW for the rest of the decade to keep the world on a 1.5 C pathway, echoing the findings of a recently released report.

IRENA said that policy interventions and a global course-correction are urgently needed “to effectively overcome structural barriers and create local value in emerging market and developing economies, many of which are still left behind in this progress … The patterns of concentration in both geography and technology threaten to intensify the decarbonisation divide and pose a significant risk to achieving the tripling target.”

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