REN21 Reports Record New Renewables Capacity, Calls for Accelerated Pace in Global Energy Transition
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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REN21's Renewables 2017 Global Status Report points to various factors that are accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels, including better-integrated sectoral planning.

Despite positive trends, REN21 warns that the pace of the transition is not on track to achieve the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The report underlines that while there is "tremendous growth of renewables in the power sector," progress in the transport and heating and cooling sectors "lags well behind".

7 June 2017: REN21 has released its ‘Renewables 2017 Global Status Report,’ which provides a comprehensive annual overview of the state of renewable energy. The report reveals that a global energy transition is well underway, with record new additions of installed renewable energy capacity, rapidly falling costs, particularly for solar PV and wind power, and the decoupling of economic growth and energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for the third consecutive year.

The report points to various factors that are accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels, including better-integrated sectoral planning, the adoption of new business models and the more creative use of enabling technologies. This trend contributes to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 (affordable and clean energy), in particular target 7.2 (By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix).

REN21 points to an “upsurge in cities, states, countries and major corporations committing to 100% renewable energy targets,” noting that this trend “makes economic and business sense.”

The report also highlights that the “myth that fossil and nuclear power are needed” to provide “baseload electricity supply” when solar or wind energy are not available “has been shown to be false.” It further points to an “upsurge in cities, states, countries and major corporations committing to 100% renewable energy targets,” noting that this trend “makes economic and business sense,” apart from climate, environment and public health benefits. It thereby highlights the interlinkages among SDGs 7, 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 13 (cimate action) and 3 (good health and well-being).

However, despite these positive trends, REN21 warns that the pace of the transition is not on track to achieve the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement on climate change. The report underlines that while there is “tremendous growth of renewables in the power sector,” progress in the transport and heating and cooling sectors “lags well behind.”

REN21 is a global renewable energy policy multi-stakeholder network that connects a wide range of key actors from governments, international organizations, industry associations, science and academia, and civil society. REN21 is an international non-profit association and is based at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Paris, France. [REN21 Website] [REN21 Press Release] [Publication Landing Page] [Publication: Renewables 2017 Global Status Report]

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