According to the latest REN21 Renewables Global Status report, renewable energy projects accounted for 70% of all new power additions in 2017, with global capacity increasing 178GW.

But what else did the report uncover? Edie highlighted these key findings:

Developing countries leading renewables investment

Worldwide, new investment in renewable power totalled $279.8bn in 2017, up from $274bn in 2016. While three quarters of this came from China, Europe and the US, when investment was measured per unit of GDP, the Marshall Islands, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands and Guinea-Bissau were among a host of developing countries to match or exceed the renewables investment of developed and emerging economies.

UK saw investment fall

The UK was Europe’s largest renewable energy investor in 2016 but its total investment fell 65% year-on-year to $7.6bn.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom as the UK remains an attractive renewable energy market. The decline is attributed to the growing trend of subsidy-free renewables alongside a “substantial gap in time between auctions for offshore wind power projects.”

Solar continues to rise in popularity

Solar led the way last year, accounting for almost 55% of all newly-installed renewable power capacity, followed by wind (29%) and hydropower (11%).

Around 98GW of solar PV capacity was installed globally, both on and off the grid, in 2017. Not only is this more than the net additions of fossil fuels and nuclear power combined, it is also up 29% from 2016. This means that the equivalent of over 40,000 solar panels were installed every hour of the year.

Solar leading way for renewable heat

China, Turkey, India, Brazil and the US led the way when it came to solar thermal capacity, which increased in capacity by 4% with the commissioning of an estimated 35GWth of new solar thermal capacity.

While gross additions were down 3% compared to the previous 12 months, solar is seen as the most viable solution to speed up adoption of renewable heat.

UK leader in offshore sector

The UK came out on top for offshore additions in 2017 and, thanks to the world’s first commercial floating project commissioned in Scotland, it seems likely the country will maintain its leading position.

Germany, China and Belgium were also among the nine countries that connected a combined total of 4.3GW of capacity. Last year, total offshore wind capacity rose 30%, bringing the global total to 18.8GW.

If you’d like to help make 2018 another record-breaking year for renewable energy, contact Zestec today or 01202 862760 to discuss our subsidy-free solar PV schemes and see how they could help you start generating your own clean, green electricity without the requirement to invest any of your own capital.