According to the new REN21 report, renewable are taking a swipe at decoupling economic growth from fossil fuels and experiencing an increasing trend.
The energy and transport sector are under the spotlight of the REN21 report, with renewables outgrowing fossil fuels in electricity, but showing no overall increasing trends in transport.
Added policies targeting the phasing out of fossil fuels implemented in 164 countries across the globe resulted in the growth of solar power, wind and other renewable technologies. A total of 135 GW powered by renewables were added to the grid, resulting in a 8.5 percent increase from the previous year. The total energy-generation from renewable sources amounted to a capacity of 1,712 GW.
Worldwide energy consumption increased by 1.5 percent, while GDP increased with an average of 3 percent. Nonetheless, CO2 emissions kept the 2013 level, indicating an exciting trend in energy-generation decoupling from fossil fuel across the globe.
The exciting report is also explained by China’s increased emphasis on renewable energy. The OECD is also playing a crucial role in promoting sustainable growth overarching energy efficiency, as well as renewable energy generation.
Christine Lins, the executive secretary of REN21, commented regarding the new report:
“The share of renewables in the power sector will continue to grow. We see that already, especially in emerging economies. But we need attention to the heating-cooling sector and transport”.
Renewable energy is one of the key factors in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and keeping global warming within the confines of 2 degrees Celsius. Alongside energy efficiency, renewable energy is now supported by 164 countries, also an increase from the 138 countries reported in 2013.
Renewable energy sources represented in 2014 27.7 percent of the world’s capacity of power generation. Solar capacity experienced the highest increase in the decade between 2004 and 2014 – 3.7 GW to 177 GW. During the same period, wind power grew from a generating capacity of 48GW to 370 GW.
Global investment in the renewables sector also saw a growth of 17 percent in 2014 compared in 2013. This is representative of 270.2 billion dollars. Adding investment in large-scale hydropower, the investment reaches 301 billion dollars.
Fossil fuel power investment lags behind for the fifth consecutive year. In 2014, the investment in renewable fuels and energy was double that in fossil fuels.
More encouraging trends would be noticed if the total amount of 550 billion dollars yearly subsidies going into fossil fuels and nuclear energy were divested into renewable energy sources and fuels.
Subsidies are maintaining a status quo where low energy prices are encouraging further exploitation of fossil resources in spite of cleaner and more sustainable renewables.
Nonetheless, the REN21 report indicates that carbon emissions are decoupling from worldwide economic growth. Previously, the International Energy Agency launched the same scenario in which global economy will not rely on fossil fuel generated energy for growth.
A real support for a long-term sustainable low carbon economy needs to see an increase in renewable investment of 400 billion dollars by 2030, according to the IEA.
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