07 April, 2020

Middle East is the second fastest growing region for renewables - IRENA

Global renewable power growth outpaced fossil fuel growth by a factor of 2.6

Image used for illustrative purpose only. A worker sets up the photovoltaic panels at the Benban plant in Aswan, Egypt, November 17, 2019.

Image used for illustrative purpose only. A worker sets up the photovoltaic panels at the Benban plant in Aswan, Egypt, November 17, 2019.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The Middle East recorded a 12.6 percent growth in new renewable energy capacity and is the second fastest growing region in the world, next only to the Oceana region that recorded 18.4 percent growth, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said on Tuesday.

However, at a total capacity of 23 gigawatts (GW), the Middle East accounts for just one per cent of the global capacity even after a 2.5 GW addition during 2019, IRENA said in a statement announcing the release of its annual Renewable Capacity Statistics 2020 report.

The renewables share of total generation capacity expansion was also the lowest in the Middle East at 26 percent compared to 70 percent globally in 2019, the statement said.

"Renewable energy is a cost-effective source of new power that insulates power markets and consumers from volatility, supports economic stability and stimulates sustainable growth," said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera.

"With renewable additions providing the majority of new capacity last year, it is clear that many countries and regions recognise the degree to which the energy transition can deliver positive outcomes. While the trajectory is positive, more is required to put global energy on a path with sustainable development and climate mitigation - both of which offer significant economic benefits," continued La Camera.

"At this challenging time, we are reminded of the importance of building resilience into our economies. In what must be the decade of action, enabling policies are needed to increase investments and accelerate renewables adoption," he said.

While, globally, expansion of renewables slowed last year, total renewable power growth outpaced fossil fuel growth by a factor of 2.6, continuing the dominance of renewables in power expansion first established in 2012, the statement noted.

(Writing by Sowmya Sundar; Editing by Anoop Menon)

(anoop.menon@refinitiv.com)

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