Wind and solar energy capacity increased faster than ever last year, despite the pandemic seeing energy demand fall.
BP’s latest review of world energy report shows solar capacity expanded by 127GW, while wind grew 111GW, almost double its previous highest annual increase.
China was the largest contributor to renewables growth, followed by the US.
The share of renewables in power generation increased to 11.7% from 10.3%, while coal’s share fell 1.3 percentage points to 35.1%, a new low in the history of BP’s reports.
BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said: “The global lockdowns had a dramatic impact on energy markets, particularly on oil, whose transport-related demand was crushed.
“Encouragingly, 2020 was also the year the share of renewables in global power generation recorded its fastest ever increase – a growth that came largely at the expense of coal-fired generation.
“These trends are exactly what the world needs to see as it transitions to net zero – strong growth in renewables crowding out coal. The importance of the past 70 years pales into insignificance as we consider the challenges facing the energy system over the next 10, 20, 30 years.”