REN 21’s annual Renewable Energy Global status report for 2017 shows continued progress in new capacity installation. Renewable power generating capacity saw its largest annual increase ever in 2016, with an estimated 161 GW of capacity added. Total global renewable capacity was up nearly 9% compared to 2015, to almost 2,017 GW at year’s end, with a rise in renewable electricity generation from 23.7% in 2015 to 24.5% in 2016. Crucially, the world continued to add more renewable power capacity annually than it added (net) capacity from all fossil fuels combined, with wind and PV growing at 4.7%, faster than demand at 2% p.a. Wind reached 487GW, PV solar 300GW, with energy storage rising to 156GW, most of that being pumped hydro but with 1.7GW of batteries. This global expansion has been driven mainly by falling costs. However, while the renewables contribution to electricity supply has continued to boom, progress in heating and transport was less good. As a result of that, and rising transport demand, overall renewables still only provided an estimated 19.3% of global final energy consumption in 2015, only slightly up from 19.2% in 2014. So we need some big changes. In the next few posts I will look at some of the more awkward areas, options and issues-including biomass, hydro, energy saving and transport.
Environmental Research Web 26th Aug 2017 read more »