Renewables 2010 – Global Status Report

Jul 2010

Changes in renewable energy markets, investments, industries, and policies have been so rapid in recent years that perceptions of the status of renewable energy can lag years behind the reality. This report captures that reality and provides a unique overview of renewable energy worldwide as of early 2010. The report covers both current status and key trends. By design, the report does not provide analysis, discuss current issues, or forecast the future.
Many of the trends reflect the increasing significance of renewable energy relative to conventional energy sources (including coal, gas, oil, and nuclear). By 2010, renewable energy had reached a clear tipping point in the context of global energy supply. Renewables comprised fully one quarter of global power capacity from all sources and delivered 18 percent of global electricity supply in 2009. In a number of countries, renewables represent a rapidly growing share of total energy supply—including heat and transport.
Much more active policy development during the past several years culminated in a significant policy milestone in early 2010—more than 100 countries had enacted some type of policy target and/or promotion policy related to renewable energy, up from 55 countries in early 2005.
Many recent trends also reflect the increasing significance of developing countries in advancing renewable energy. Collectively, developing countries have more than half of global renewable power capacity. Brazil produces virtually all of the world’s sugar-derived ethanol and has been adding new biomass and wind power plants.
Latin America is seeing many new biofuels producers in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, as well as expansion in many other renewable technologies.
At least 20 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa have active renewable energy markets.
Greatly increased investment from both public-sector and development banks is also driving renewables development, particularly from banks based in Europe, Asia, and South America. The European Investment Bank and the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) are notable cases. A number of development banks have increased development assistance flows. Dozens of other development agencies provide growing amounts of loans, grants, and technical assistance for renewables.

By: Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21)

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