The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) has released its 'Renewables 2014 Global Status Report.' The report highlights the growth in renewable energy policy support in the developing world.
In 2005, only 15 developing countries supported the deployment of renewables through government policy; by 2014 that number had grown to 95.
3 June 2014: The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) has released its ‘Renewables 2014 Global Status Report.’ The report highlights the growth in renewable energy policy support in the developing world. In 2005, only 15 developing countries supported the deployment of renewables through government policy; by 2014 that number had grown to 95.
Developing countries’ backing has helped propel the portion of power production from renewables to more than one-fifth of global electricity generation. Renewable generation capacity has reached a record high, with 1,560 gigawatts (GW) installed by the end of 2013. That number represents 8.3% growth over the total in 2012. The report further estimates that the renewable energy industry accounted for 6.5 million direct or indirect jobs worldwide in 2013.
At least 144 countries have renewable energy targets in place and 138 have renewable energy policy support packages, according to the report. Several European countries and the US experienced some backsliding in renewable energy support, with instances of retroactive reductions in support and increased policy uncertainty.
In addition to accounting for 22% of global electricity generation in 2013, renewables made up 56% of net power capacity additions. The top five countries for total installed generation capacity derived from renewable sources were China, the US, Brazil, Canada and Germany. For the first time, China’s renewable power additions exceeded capacity added from nuclear and fossil fuel sources. The year 2013 represented the sixth consecutive year that the EU added more renewable generation capacity than conventional capacity.
One-third of the added global renewable power capacity was in hydropower capacity, and another third was in solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. For the first time, solar additions surpassed added wind capacity. Electricity generated from renewable sources of energy is becoming more cost-competitive; in Brazil, wind has been excluded from national auctions because its prices were lower than those of all other generation sources in the market.
REN21 also reports a growing number of countries aim to transition to 100% renewable energy. Djibouti, Scotland and Tuvalu all aim to have 100% renewables in the electricity sector by 2020. Denmark met 33.2% of its electricity demand with wind power, while Spain met 20.9% of its demand.
The ‘2014 Global Status Report,’ was released at the UN Sustainable Energy for All Forum (SE4ALL). REN21’s first ‘Global Status Report’ was published in 2005. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) supports REN21’s secretariat. [EurekAlert Press Release] [UN Press Release] [Publication: Renewables 2014 Global Status Report] [IISD RS Coverage of SE4ALL]