Renewable energy hit record high in 2014 – report


Renewable energy growth soared to record levels in 2014, with over one-fifth of global electricity now supplied from clean energy sources, according to a new report from REN21. Increasing by 8.5 per cent last year, renewables are well on their way to becoming the world’s top source of electricity in 15 years if countries stick to plans currently on the table. Greater numbers of renewable energy targets worldwide and higher investments are giving the sector a massive boost. In Europe, for example, renewables provided 26 per cent of power in 2014 – more than nuclear for the first time – and the bloc is on track to meet its 2020 target of 20 per cent renewable energy, according to the European Commission. Meanwhile, countries from the US to China are putting money into renewable energy, with developing countries now investing nearly as much as developed ones. This is bringing costs down and allowing them to reap multiple benefits, including home grown jobs, cleaner air, energy security and safer investments. Laggards like Australia whose government is still peddling long-disproven myths about renewable energy are missing out. The benefits would be even greater if the more than US $550 billion in annual subsidies for fossil fuel and nuclear energy were removed. With the call for an end to such subsidies increasing in volume, it is only a matter of time before a 100 per cent renewable energy age is here.


MT@UWICHEERE: In 2014 more renewable capacity added than coal and gas combined! More here… #REN21 #GSR2015 Global Status Report #RenewablesRising


Key Points

  • Renewable energy is on the rise, as new analysis shows record growth in 2014. 22 per cent of the world’s electricity is now supplied from renewables, which grew by 8.5 per cent last year, according to the latest REN21 report. Countries around the world – including big emitters the US to China – are investing in renewable energy, while governments are increasingly setting renewables targets. And while the economy continues to grow, greenhouse gas emissions plateaued last year, showing that economic expansion has begun to “decouple” from rising emissions.
  • Europe is increasingly powered by renewables, and other countries are hot on its heels. Described as a “tipping point” by the clean energy industry, renewables provided 26 per cent of Europe’s power in 2014 and the bloc is on track to meet its target of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020. But Europe is just one player in a global trend, with countries from Costa Rica to India and US states including California and Hawaii all showing the renewable energy transition in action in recent months. In the latest  sign of the massive potential for solar, new analysis shows it could become the ‘default’ power technology in next ten years.



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Key Quotes

  • “Renewable energy and improved energy efficiency are key to limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius and avoiding dangerous climate change” – REN21 Chair Arthouros Zervos
  • “Creating a level playing field would strengthen the development and use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Removing fossil-fuel and nuclear subsidies globally would make it evident that renewables are the cheapest energy option” – Christine Lins, Executive Secretary, REN21
  • “The [European Commission’s] report shows once again that Europe is good at renewables, and that renewables are good for Europe. We have three times more renewable power per capita in Europe than anywhere else in the rest of the world” – Miguel Arias Cañete, EU climate and energy commissioner
  • “We have to have a peaceful divorce between economic growth and emissions for the wellbeing of all the world’s citizens,” – Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency

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