Alla ämnen
Markets & Finance

REN21 – 2015 Record Year for Renewables

2015 was a record year for renewable energy according to the “Renewables 2016 Global Status Report”, a comprehensive overview of the state of renewable published by REN21.

Published annually since 2005 this year’s edition affirms that renewables are truly established as competitive, mainstream sources of energy in many countries around the world. Renewable Energy Network Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) is a global multi-stakeholder renewable energy policy network. Renewable power generating capacity saw its largest increase ever with an estimated 147 GW added. Renewable heat capacity also continued to rise, and renewables use expanded in the transport sector. Distributed renewable energy is advancing rapidly to close the gap between the energy haves- and have-nots.

Ren21 Renewable 2016 global Status Report
Ren21 Renewable 2016 global Status Report. Ren21 Renewable 2016 global Status Report

According to REN21 these results were driven by several factors; cost competitiveness of renewables with fossil fuels in many markets; better access to financing; concerns about energy security and the environment; growing demand for modern energy services in developing and emerging economies and government leadership driving growth particularly for wind and solar in the power sector.

– What is truly remarkable about these results is that they were achieved at a time when fossil fuel prices were at historic lows, and renewables remained at a significant disadvantage in terms of government subsidies. For every dollar spent boosting renewables, nearly four dollars were spent to maintain our dependence on fossil fuels, said Christine Lins, Executive Secretary of REN21.

Investment larger in developing economies

Worldwide investment in renewable power and fuels 2015 also reached record levels of US$286 billion though the global total is significantly higher if heating and cooling and large-scale hydro (>50 MW) investments are taken into account. With China accounting for more than one third of the global total, developing countries surpassed developed countries in total renewable energy investments for the first time. With increased investment came an increase in technological advances, cost reductions and jobs. There are now 8.1 million people working in the renewable energy sector – representing steady growth in stark contrast with depressed labour markets in the broader energy sector.

Challenges ahead

The report highlights several challenges that remain to be addressed if governments are to fulfill their commitments to achieve a global transition away from fossil fuels. These include: achieving effective integration of high shares of renewables into the grid; addressing policy and political instability, regulatory barriers, and fiscal constraints. Further, there is far less policy focus on transport and, particularly, heating and cooling, so these sectors are progressing much more slowly.

– Renewables are running on 20th century infrastructure – a system based on outdated thinking where conventional baseload is generated by fossil fuels and nuclear power. To accelerate the transition to a healthier, more-secure and climate-safe future, we need to build a smarter, more flexible system that maximises the use of variable sources of renewable energy, and accommodates decentralised and community-based generation, commented Arthouros Zervos, Chair of REN21.


Most read on Bioenergy International

Get the latest news about Bioenergy

Subscribe for free to our newsletter
Skickar begäran
I accept that Bioenergy International stores and handles my information.
Read more about our integritypolicy here