14 March 2017
Mitigation Update: Reports Document Increasing Growth in Renewables
UN Photo/Pasqual Gorriz
story highlights

The IEA's Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report finds that renewable energy expanded at its fastest-ever rate in 2015.

Chinese statistics show a nearly 82% increase in solar capacity in 2016.

Singapore announced plans for a carbon tax.

1 March 2017: Recent reports document the rapid and global increase in solar and wind energy capacity. Data from China indicate that coal use continues to decrease while renewable energy sources have increased, contributing to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 (affordable and clean energy). Singapore seeks to spur momentum through a carbon tax, in keeping with SDG 13 (climate action).

The International Energy Agency (IEA) published its Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report. It finds that lower fossil fuel prices in 2015 did not hamper the growth in renewable energy. Instead, the report finds that renewable energy expanded at its fastest-ever rate in 2015. The IEA credits this growth to supportive government policies and cost reductions. [IEA Report]

In 2016, China’s solar capacity grew by 81.6% and its wind power increased by 13.2% while coal use fell 4.7%.

Two related developments from the Asian continent further supported this growing trend in renewables. In 2016, according to Government statistics, solar capacity grew by 81.6% and wind power increased by 13.2%, while coal use fell 4.7%. [China Statistical Communiqué]

Singapore announced plans to use a carbon tax to reduce emissions and encourage renewable energy. As announced, the tax will be between US$10 and US$20 per tonne of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It will apply “upstream,” such as to power stations and other large direct emitters, rather than to electricity users. The carbon tax was announced in the recent budget and will undergo public consultations with the aim to be implemented in 2019. [Singapore Press Release]

related posts