- BloombergNEF expects the world to have added 132 GW solar in 2020 and the current year could smash this bar
- Globally, total investment on decarbonization efforts added up to $501.3 billion, growing 9% YoY
- Renewables accounted for $303.5 billion of the total, up 2% from previous year thanks to solar and wind energies
Solar power had another record year of installations in the year 2020 with global total adding up to 132 GW, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BloombergNEF) defying COVID-19 related disruptions. And if this wasn’t enough, the analysts expect the year 2021 to shatter this and end up with installing 151 GW and go up to as much as 194 GW.
In comparison, the other renewable energy technology wind power added 73 GW to the global power generation capacity in 2020 and is expected by BloombergNEF analysts to bring up 84 GW in 2021, with 75 GW coming from onshore wind.
These figures make up 2 separate analyses of BloombergNEF namely Energy, Transport, Sustainability—10 Predictions for 2021 and Energy Transition Investment Trends reports. In the first, BloombergNEF’s Head of Solar Jenny Chase sees module prices in 2021 falling from $0.20 per W in 2020 to an average of $0.18 per W ‘as supply of key materials like suitable glass is increased’. Chase explains, “That fresh gain in price-competitiveness, and the new taste among lenders and investors for unsubsidized projects, could result in the world commissioning anywhere between 151 GW and 194 GW this year.”
And there is hydrogen electrolyzers growing in numbers as well. The analysts here believe 240 MW were announced for completion in 2021 compared to 90 MW finished in 2020 and it is set to grow further with more countries announcing their hydrogen strategies.
Globally the world invested $501.3 billion to decarbonization efforts in 2020, an amount that has grown annually by 9%. Of this, $303.5 billion was invested by companies, governments and households in new renewable energy capacity in 2020, up 2% annually thanks to the ‘biggest-ever build-out’ of solar projects and $50 billion for ‘surge for offshore wind’.
Solar power capacity investment increased 12% to $148.6 billion, while that for onshore and offshore wind declined 6% to $142.7 billion. It was the year with the 2 GW Al Dhafrah being funded with $1.1 billion as the ‘world’s largest single solar park ever funded’ (see Financial Closure For 2 GW Abu Dhabi Solar Project).
Europe accounted for the largest share of global investment at $166.2 billion (+67%) thanks to electric vehicle sales and the ‘best year’ in renewable energy investment since 2012, followed by China at $134.8 billion (-12%) and $85.3 billion (-11%).
Renewable energy capacity investment in China was the highest with $83.6 billion even though it was down 12% annually, but Europe was up 52% at $81.8 billion. The US too declined 20% in this category to $49.3 billion and India slipped 36% to $6.2 billion, as per the report.
Recently, market intelligence firm Mercom Capital Group said global solar PV corporate funding in 2020 grew 24% YoY to $14.5 billion (see Solar Attracted $14.5 Billion Total Corp Funding In 2020).