This is the finding of a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA). For those who are not that familiar with the term Gigawatt (GW), 2 GW is about the output of a medium sized nuclear power plant. Which means we added the equivalent output of 80 nuclear power plants in just one year!
Now I know critics will say that nuclear or coal power plants work almost 24/7 and therefore they produce much more energy than renewables (which is of course correct), but 161 GW is still A Lot!
Let me put that in perspective: An average American household uses almost 11.000kWh of electricity per year. If you assume 1,500-2,000 hours – which is I think quite realistic on average for solar and wind, while hydropower plants run upwards of 5,000 hours per year – under full load for those 161 GW then you get 240,000-320,000GWh of electricity. Divide that by 11,000kWh and you get 22-29 million, which is the number of American households you could power with that amount of electricity. This is of course a very rough (but realistic) calculation done by me, but you get the picture.
All of that in just one year!! Also, it is important to mention that annual renewable energy additions have been constantly rising for at least a decade, which you can look up in the recent IRENA Renewable Capacity Statistics 2017.