A solar installation in rural Nepal. Image: Comtronics Pvt LtdA solar installation in rural Nepal. Image: Comtronics Pvt Ltd

IRENA: Renewable energy powers 1/3rd of global power capacity in 2018

According to a recently published report by IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), one-third of the global power needs was supplied by renewable energy sources in 2018. The progress, an addition of 171 gigawatts of energy from renewable sources in 2018, is one of the most significant years for advocates of ‘clean energy’. Solar and wind energy accounted for 84% of the 171 GW growth.

Asia accounted for 61% of total renewable energy installations and dominated global solar power energy growth (64GW). Oceania, with a 17.7% rise in 2018 posted by the highest rate of growth in renewable energy. Global wind energy capacity increased by 49 GW in 2018. China and the USA continued to account for the greatest share of wind energy expansion, with increases of 20 GW and 7 GW respectively. Other countries which expanded their wind energy capacity by more than 1 GW included Brazil, France, Germany, India, and the UK.

In Nepal, renewable energy is rapidly developing . Nepal’s Department of Electricity Development has approved survey licenses for 21 locations for possible installation of 56 solar plants. The plants will have a combined solar capacity of 317 megawatts. A 120MW solar PV station in Dhalkebar, Mahottari is in the pipeline.

Solar panels have proven a relief to many households in Nepal – at  a time when Nepal was reeling from massive power cuts, several urban homes installed solar panels as  their ‘backup’. In remote places where the villages are not connected to the national grid, renewable energy sources provide them the much needed respite.

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