REN21 Renewables 2014 Global Status Report: Another Record Year for Renewables

The REN21 Renewables 2014 Global Status Report has formally been released on 4th June 2014 during the first UN Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York.

With the beginning of 2014, 95 emerging economy nations had policies and targets in place to support the expansion of renewable energy. Developing nations today account for the vast majority of the 144 countries with renewable energy support policies and targets in place, which is a more than sixfold increase over the past eight years.
This contrasts with declining support, renewable policy uncertainty and even retroactive support reductions in some European countries and the United States, and also shows the vast geographical expansion of renewables deployment.
The 2014 report credits support policies with a key role in driving global renewable energy capacity to a new record level in 2013 - more than 1,560 GW (plus > 8% relative to 2012). Furthermore, an advancement of renewables support policies was detected: in a number of countries, electricity feed-in policies were transformed into premium payments, and continued to be adapted to the heating sector. New policies advanced or managed the integration of high shares of RES-E into existing power systems, including support for energy storage, demand-side management, and smart grid technology. Over 22% of the world’s power production now comes from renewable sources, and an estimated 6.5 million people worldwide worked directly or indirectly in the renewable energy sector.

Some highlights of the report:

  • Renewables made up more than 56% of net additions to global power capacity in 2013, of which one third is attributed to hydropower 
  • Renewable energy provided 19% of global final energy consumption in 2012 (10% modern renewables, and 9% from traditional biomass), with a continued growth trend in 2013
  • Useful heat energy from modern renewables accounted for about 4.2% of total final energy use, hydropower made up around 3.8% and an estimated 2% was provided by power from wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and biofuels
  • Renewables are achieving high levels of penetration in several countries, and a growing number of cities, states and regions seek the transition to 100% renewable energy (economy-wide or in individual sectors)
  • On a global scale, more solar PV than wind power was added for the first time, accounting for about one third of renewable power capacity additions in 2013 
  • New capacity installations of solar PV increased by more than 32% percent (+39 GW), although global investments declined by almost 22% relative to 2012 
  • Wind power capacity totalled more than 318 GW in 2013 (+35 GW conmpared to 2012), although the market was down nearly 10 GW compared to the previous year, reflecting primarily a steep drop in the US market. 
  • Heating and cooling from modern biomass, solar and geothermal sources account for a small, but gradually rising share of global final heat demand of about 10%

Thanks to robust policies coupled with continuing technological advances, falling prices and financing innovations, renewables have increasingly become affordable for a broader range of consumers worldwide. Global new investment in renewable power and fuels was at least USD 249.4 billion in 2013.

REN21’s Renewables 2014 Global Status Report, key findings and figures

REN21’s Renewables Interactive Map for country specific analyses

A series of webinars will be held by REN21 in cooperation with the Clean Energy Solutions Centre. These webinars will look in detail at renewables development in eight geographical regions: Australia and Oceania/ South East Asia/ Middle East and North Africa/ Africa/ China/ India/ North America/ Latin and South America/ Europe

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