The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a short forecast of development of renewable energy in 2019. According to the IEA, the increase in new RES capacity, following stagnation in 2018, reached figures of 2015, and was driven by changes in China’s green generation support policy. The increase is observed, first of all, in the segment of solar generation, which by the end of the year may increase by 115 GWt, becoming an absolute record for the whole period of development of RES in the world.
The slowdown in the Chinese market will be offset by the acceleration of RES growth in the EU, in particular in Spain, as well as in India and the US, the main reason for which is the further decrease in the cost of technologies and equipment, which increases their competitiveness compared to fossil fuel generation. Vietnam and Japan also note the increased efforts of developers to put RES projects into operation, but explain this as the expiry of preferential terms and special support programs. China could be the trend-setter in the RES segment if, during the second half of 2019, the expectations of the auction system’s efficiency are confirmed and projects of large industrial power plants capable of competing with other types of generation without government subsidies are put into operation.
The second largest in terms of commissioning of RES facilities is the segment of ground-based wind generation, which can increase by 53 GWt. The major driving factors here are the desire of US developers to complete offshore wind farm projects before the electricity generation tax credits with this type of generation are cancelled and before reduction of the amount of forced restriction of generation by RES facilities in China, which encourages the development of new wind farm projects.
Hydropower can grow by about 18 GWt at the end of the year, retaining third place in the list of the most sought-after energy sectors. Offshore wind power will remain at 5 GWе of new capacity, primarily due to new projects in the EU and China. China remains the leader in terms of introduction of new RES capacities with a multiple advantage of all other major international players (see the Chart).
Therefore, the increase in global RES capacity growth in 2019 is caused by the combined effect of a number of factors, the main ones being the further reduction of cost of technology, primarily solar generation, and the gradual refusal from state support programs, which forces developers to accelerate their projects.