Since 2000, global renewable energy capacity has surged by 415%, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4%. Despite this impressive overall increase, many affluent regions, including the United States and Europe, have experienced slower average annual growth in renewable capacity.

In partnership with the National Public Utilities Council, this chart illustrates how each world region has contributed to the growth in renewable energy capacity from 2000 to 2023, based on the latest data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

From 2000 to 2023, global renewable capacity rose from 0.8 TW to 3.9 TW, with China leading the charge by adding 1.4 TW—more than Africa, Europe, and North America combined. Renewable energy in this context includes solar, wind, hydro (excluding pumped storage), bioenergy, geothermal, and marine energy.

During this period, the growth rate of renewable capacity in the U.S. has been slightly higher than in Europe but significantly slower than in China. The U.S. is expected to see an acceleration in renewable growth due to the recent implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Overall, Asia has demonstrated the greatest regional growth, with China being the standout contributor. In contrast, Canada has lagged behind the rest of the developed world, with its renewable capacity increasing by only 57% between 2000 and 2023.

In Africa, renewable capacity has grown by 184% since 2000, with a CAGR of 4%. India, now the most populous country in the world, has seen its renewable capacity increase by 604%, translating to a CAGR of 8% between 2000 and 2023.

It’s important to note that energy capacity does not always equate to power generation. This is particularly true for intermittent energy sources like solar and wind, which are dependent on natural conditions.

Despite the global expansion of renewable energy, IRENA stresses that worldwide renewable generation capacity must triple from its 2023 levels by 2030 to meet the ambitious targets set by the Paris Agreement.

By Impact Lab