2014 - a record year for renewable energy: report

Published June 22nd, 2015 - 05:43 GMT

The year 2014 was another record year for renewable energy, according to new insights that emerged from REN21’s 2015 Global Status Report and the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (Irena) latest studies on renewable energy policy and jobs.

Renewable energy targets and other support policies, now in place in 164 countries, powered the growth of solar, wind and other renewable technologies to a record-breaking energy generation capacity last year; about 135GW of added renewable energy power increasing total installed capacity to 1,712GW, up 8.5 per cent from the year before — figures to be revealed at the Vienna Energy Forum through the REN21 Global Status Report for 2015.

Despite the world’s average annual 1.5 per cent increase in energy consumption in recent years and average three per cent growth in gross domestic product, carbon dioxide emissions in 2014 were unchanged from 2013 levels. For the first time in four decades, the world economy grew without a parallel rise in carbon dioxide emissions.

The landmark “decoupling” of economic and carbon dioxide growth is due in large measure to China’s increased use of renewable resources, and efforts by countries in the OECD to promote more sustainable growth including increased use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

“Renewable energy and improved energy efficiency are key to limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius and avoiding dangerous climate change,” said REN21 chair Arthouros Zervos, who released the new report at the Vienna Energy Forum.

As of end-2014, a staggering 22.8 per cent of the world’s electricity is from renewables. Thanks to targets and supportive policies now in place in at least 164 countries worldwide power generation capacity from wind, solar photovoltaic and hydro sources alone grew by 128GW from 2013. As stated in the REN21 report, renewables now comprise an estimated 27.7 per cent of the world’s power generating capacity.

As in the UAE, solar photovoltaic is also the fastest-growing technology globally. Global capacity has grown at the most phenomenal rate up 48-fold from 2004 (3.7GW) to 2014 (177GW) with strong growth also in wind power capacity (up nearly eight-fold over this period, from 48GW in 2004 to 370GW in 2014).

The UAE is a great success story for the deployment and acceleration of renewable energy. Renewable energy forms a key part of our plans for economic and energy diversification, with the UAE setting the standard for the whole region. The benefits of these early initiatives are now materialising, with a clear example being the recent results from Dubai’s renewable energy auctions, which were the most competitive in the world,” said Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE permanent representative to the Irea and director of energy and climate change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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