Renewables energy consumption (which includes biofuels and all traded renewable electricity apart from hydro) continued to grow strongly, contributing its largest increase in energy terms (3.2 EJ) on record. This accounted for over 40% of the global growth in primary energy last year, which is larger than any other fuel. As a result, renewables increased its share in the energy mix from 4.5% in 2018 to 5%.
China’s use of renewables grew by more than any other country, although its increase of 0.8 EJ was below the strong rate of growth seen in 2017 and 2018 (1.2 EJ both years). Solar provided half of China’s growth, followed by wind around (40%). The US (0.3 EJ) and Japan (0.2 EJ) were the next largest individual contributors to growth.
By energy source, wind generation provided the largest contribution to growth (1.4 EJ) followed closely by solar (1.2 EJ). Other sources of renewable electricity (such as biomass and geothermal) grew by 0.3 EJ, while biofuels consumption increased by 0.2 EJ, or 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Wind provided the largest contribution to the growth of renewables electricity generation (160 TWh) followed closely by solar (140 TWh). Solar has constantly increased its share of generation and now makes up 26% compared with only 14% five years earlier.
Biofuels production growth averaged 3% (54,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day or boe/d, less than half the 10-year average. Growth was led by Brazil (31,000 boe/d) and Indonesia (32,000 boe/d) but US output declined by 19,000 boe/d. Growth was weighted towards biodiesel, which grew by 34,000 boe/d driven largely by Indonesia. Biodiesel is the dominant fuel in Europe and Asia Pacific (making up 81% and 74% of biofuels respectively in 2019), while ethanol is the main fuel in North America (86% of total) and S&C America (74%).
Biofuels consumption rose by 6% (100,000 boe/d). As with production, growth was driven mainly by Brazil (42,000 boe/d), most of which was ethanol and Indonesia (56,000 boe/d), which was largely biodiesel. At the global level, ethanol made up 63% of biofuels in 2019, but the share of biodiesel has risen continually. For example, biodiesel’s share was 23% in 2009 but rose to 37% last year.
Solar installed capacity was 586 GW a net increase of 98 GW, similar to 2018 (100 GW). This represents an increase in total installed capacity of 20%.
The deployment of solar is diversified. China (30 GW), EU (23 GW), and the US (9 GW) explain around 65% of the increase. Asia (60 GW) represents the lion’s share of the new additions. Emerging economies represents 53% of total new deployment.
Wind installed capacity was 620 GW in 2019 a net increase of 58 GW. This represents an increase in total installed capacity of 10%. Offshore wind achieved 28 GW with a net increase of 5 GW.
China (26 GW), EU (12 GW) and the US (9 GW) explain around 80% of the increase. Emerging economies represent 55% of total deployment (31 GW) and the developed world 45% (27 GW).
Geothermal capacity grew by 5.1% (678 MW) in 2019, to reach 13.9 GW. The largest additions to capacity were in Turkey (232 MW) Indonesia (185 MW) and Kenya (160 MW). The US has the largest geothermal capacity with 2.6 GW (18% of the world total), followed by the Indonesia (2.1 GW), Philippines (1.9 GW) and Turkey (1.5 GW).
Geothermal power generation grew by 3.7% in 2019. Overall the geothermal share of global power generation remains very small.