- Rystad Energy counts global renewable energy capacity in 2021 to have added up to 227 GW
- For solar, while utility scale solar soared, it was residential solar that outpaced C&I installations
- Module prices are expected to further go up, peaking at $0.41 per W in Q3/2022, up from $0.33 per W in 2021
- Hydrogen electrolyzer capacity has also increased as around 245 GW capacity was announced during 11M/2021 which will support solar and wind energy capacity
Norway headquartered energy research firm Rystad Energy believes the world exited 2021 with 227 GW of renewable energy capacity installed during the year, growing 4.7% over 2020. In 2022, solar and hydrogen will drive global renewable energy additions to exceed 270 GW.
One striking factor was residential solar outperforming commercial and industrial (C&I) capacity additions for the 1st time with 30% annual growth—from 18.9 GW in 2020 to 25.2 GW in 2021. In comparison, C&I solar additions declined from 20.6 GW in 2020 to 19.9 GW in 2021.
As for utility scale solar, while new installations went up 15% in 2021 analysts count 20 GW capacity as having been deferred or delayed due to high component and shipping costs that went up 57% from $0.21 per W in 2020 to $0.33 per W. In 2022, module prices are not likely to come down anytime soon as Rystad analysts expect these to peak at $0.41 per W in Q3/2022.
“As a result, up to a further 50 GW of planned solar PV projects starting construction now could be delayed or canceled next year as their economic feasibility dwindles,” cautions Rystad Energy (see High Prices May Thwart 50 GW Solar PV In 2022).
Despite the high prices, the market is quite active as more than 195 GW of solar PV and wind project pipeline was transacted by the end of November 2021, compared to 14.9 GW in 2020.
What also grew last year was hydrogen electrolyzer capacity going up to 0.8 GW, up from 0.04 GW in 2020. During 11M/2021, hydrogen electrolyzer facilities worth 245 GW were announced, including 30 GW in Mauritania and 45 GW in Kazakhstan. This bodes well for solar and wind energy as this would lead to renewable hydrogen.
In November 2021, IHS Markit said it sees global solar PV installations to grow to over 200 GW DC in 2022, registering an annual growth of 20% (see Expect 200+GW New Solar In 2022).