In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Solar and wind led the record growth of renewables globally in 2020, according to IRENA.
  • South Dakota wants to subsidize more EV charging stations.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Renewables grow globally in 2020

The world added more than 260 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity in 2020, compared to the addition of 176 GW in 2019, according to data released yesterday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in the report, “Renewable Capacity Statistics 2020.” The growth occurred despite the economic slowdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

IRENA’s press release says that “renewables’ rising share of the total is partly attributable to net decommissioning of fossil fuel power generation in Europe, North America, and for the first time, across Eurasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russian Federation, and Turkey).”

Solar and wind power led the growth, with 127 GW and 111 GW of new installations, respectively. And interestingly, the world’s two worst polluting countries also led in clean energy installations. China, which is already also the world’s largest renewables market, added 72 GW of wind and 49 GW of solar. The US installed 15 GW of solar and around 14 GW of wind – nearly 80% more than in 2019. 

Hydropower still accounts for the largest share (1,211 GW) of global clean energy, at more than 43%, although solar and wind are catching up fast. Bioenergy’s net capacity expansion fell by half in 2020 (2.5 GW compared to 6.4 GW in 2019). Geothermal energy saw very little capacity added in 2020; and off-grid capacity grew by 365 MW in 2020 (2%) to reach 10.6 GW. 

IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera said:

Our 1.5 degree outlook shows significant planned energy investments must be redirected to support the transition if we are to achieve 2050 goals. In this critical decade of action, the international community must look to this trend as a source of inspiration to go further.

EV chargers in South Dakota

South Dakota’s state government is considering whether to make more money available in the state to help underwrite more fast-charging stations along I-90 (which runs east to west) and I-29 (which runs north to south).

The state Board of Minerals and Environment approved seven grants for charging stations in December. South Dakota’s current plan calls for 5% of the VW emissions scandal money to go into charging stations, and it wants to boost it to 15%.

It’s currently taking public comment, and according to Keloland, Tim Jensen of Spearfish Motors (a GMC dealer whose main homepage image is of the GMC Hummer EV SUV) wrote:

Being in a heavy tourism area and on I-90 it is a great location to take care of the future EV needs of the public.

Mount Rushmore is off I-90 at Rapid City, which is around 45 minutes east of Spearfish.

North Dakota installed nine chargers last year, so Robert Moffitt, coordinator of North Dakota Clean Cities, pointed out:

Until this funding opportunity, the state had no fast chargers. Several of these are along I-29, if SD adds some along this highway, it will create a corridor for EV travel.

South Dakota is among the US states with the fewest number of EV charging outlets.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.

About the Author