Solar PV additions will continue to increase in 2024 while challenges remain for wind expansion. Declining module prices, greater uptake of distributed solar PV systems and a policy push for large-scale deployment are driving higher annual solar additions in all major markets – including China, the European Union, the United States and India. In contrast, without rapid policy implementation, global onshore wind additions in 2024 are expected to fall by around 5% from 2023 levels. While China’s wind energy additions will continue to increase in 2024, they are set to be more than offset by undersubscription of auctions and pending permitting delays in Europe. The situation in Europe is expected to improve once new legislation is implemented. Overall, cumulative world renewable capacity is forecast to reach over 4 500 GW at the end of 2024, equal to the total power capacity of China and the United States combined.
Global renewable capacity additions could reach 550 GW in 2024 in our accelerated case, almost 20% higher than in the main forecast. This is mainly due to a more rapid deployment of residential and commercial PV installations, assuming a faster implementation of recent policies and incentives. The upside for utility- scale onshore wind and solar PV projects mostly depends on the pace of permitting, construction and timely grid connection of projects under development.
European countries introduced more policy and regulatory changes to ease permitting in the last 18 months than over the entire previous decade. While permitting has become a key policy focus in Europe to accelerate the deployment of large-scale wind and solar PV and early benefits are starting to be visible, the proposed policy changes are expected to have limited impact on the deployment of renewables in 2023 and 2024 compared with other drivers, such as installations of small-scale residential and commercial solar PV.