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2016 renewable energy capacity grows by 10%, whilst reducing costs by 23% - 7th June

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New figures released by REN21 show renewable energy capacity growing by 10% compared to 2015, whilst seeing a 23% reduction in investment compared to the previous year. Greater economic viability has seen prices for wind and solar fall well below fossil fuels or nuclear options which has led to increasing uptake in countries such as India, Mexico and Egypt.

Analysts have however warned that the transition to green energy is still not happening quick enough to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, notably in transport and heating sectors. This has been exacerbated by the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, however there have been warnings that the US may be left behind in the transition to a low carbon economy.

The renewable energy capacity in 2016 cost $242bn which is much larger than the investment in fossil fuels, whilst subsidies for renewables are still lower.

The largest boost to renewable energy capacity came from solar power, which became the greatest addition to electricity production across all types of energy.

REN21 executive secretary Christine Lins claimed “those who ignore renewables’ central role in climate mitigation risk being left behind”, whilst World Bank global lead for energy economics  Vivien Foster stated that “there has been a dramatic and sustained improvement in the competitiveness of renewable power generation technologies”.

Despite such growth, total energy is still dominated by fossil fuels at 80%, meaning that sectors such as transport, heating and cooling are of critical importance to transform them into renewable sources.

For more information, please see the original article from The Guardian.

Photo credit: Joerg Boethling/Alamy

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