REN 21 – Global Energy Consumption : Renewables meet 16% of the demand in 2010

Posted on July 12, 2011 by


Renewable Energy Network (REN21) produced with its global network of research partners the “REN21 Renewables 2011 Global Status Report”. It was released today. The report shows that the RE sector is performing well globally, thought affected by the economic recession, incentive cuts, and low natural-gas prices. The report says that the RE sources meet 16 percent of global final  energy consumption in 2010. Since the RE sources are infirm (un-predictable) sources of electricity, the share of energy supplied share is less than the installed capacity contribution which stands at 25%.

As per the report,

  •  The top two carbon emitters – US and China, are also leaders in renewable energy installation,
  • Driven by falling prices of PV modules and the stable government incentive programs, the solar PV production and installation worldwide showed more than 100% growth against 2009. As expected, Germany was a leader, installing more PV in 2010 than the entire world installed in the previous year. Similarly in Japan and the the U.S., the markets showed near 100% growth against 2009 base. Solar PV installations were added across more than 100 countries.
  • Wind power contributes most to the new capacity added, followed by hydropower and solar PV.
  • Favorable government policies are driving the RE growth. More than 110 countries across the globe had supported RE with either a policy target or a RE support policy at national level. In 2005, the number of countries with such RE thrust was 55. It is also encouraging to see that there is a fair representation (more than 50%) in these countries from the developing world. Feed-in tariff or preferential tariffs is the most common form of support
  • As we mentioned earlier, the investment in RE has reached a record $211 billion, up 33% against 2009 and more than 5 times the number in 2004.
  • Asia, driven by China and India remains a key focus, however significant growth is also seen in Latin America Middle East, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Small scale projects and R&D are still dominated by the developed countries with Germany, Italy and the US being the top three.
  • Developing countries (led by China) as a whole now have more than 50% of global renewable energy power.
  • China added around 29 GW of grid-connected RE capacity in 2010,growng by 13% over its 2009 performance. RE now makes up about 26% of China’s generation capacity and 18% of generation. Though, the coal is such a dominant force in energy supply in China, that this number ends up as 9% of the total end energy use.
  • Brazil is a near monopoly in sugar-derived ethanol. It has been active in hydro, biomass, wind and off-grid solar applications (thermal).
  • The RE represents two fifth generation capacity addition in EU. Though in 2009, three fifth of new capacity added in 2009 was renewable, in absolute number terms RE capacity addition was highest in 2010.

The complete report can be accessed here.

Image source and copyrights: Renewable Energy Policy Network

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