REN21 Renewables 2017 Global Status Report
The REN21 Renewables 2017 Global Futures Report presents the views of 114 renowned energy experts from around the world, on the feasibility and challenges of achieving a 100 per cent renewable energy future. Their thoughts are grouped into 12 Great Debates ranging from the future of heating and transport, the interconnection of sectors, the role of mega-cities, and what utilities of the future could look like. The report does not predict the future but should spur debate about the opportunities and challenges of a 100 per cent renewable energy future. The report analyses the views of 114 renowned energy experts from every region of the world, interviewed over the course of 2016. The results are clustered as ‘12 Great Debates’:
- 100% Renewables: A logical consequence of the Paris Agreement?
- Global Energy Demand Development: Efficiency on a global level?
- Renewable Power Generation: The winner takes all?
- The Future of Heating: Thermal or electrical applications?
- Renewables for Transport: Electrification versus biofuels?
- Interconnection of Sectors: System thinking required
- Storage: Supporter or competitor of the power grid?
- Technology versus Costs: Which should come first?
- Scaling-up Investments and Work Force: 100% renewables for socio-economic change
- Utilities of the Future: What will they look like?
- Mega Cites: Mega possibilities
- Energy Access Enabled Through Renewables: How to speed up connections?
The 2017 edition of the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) reveals a global energy transition well underway, with record new additions of installed renewable energy capacity, rapidly falling costs, particularly for solar PV and wind power, and the decoupling of economic growth and energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for the third year running. Innovative and more sustainable ways of meeting our energy needs—through better-integrated sectoral planning, the adoption of exciting new business models and the more creative use of enabling technologies—are accelerating the paradigm shift away from a world run on fossil fuels. Newly installed renewable power capacity set new records in 2016, with 161 GW added, increasing the global total by REN21 Renewables 2017 Global Status Report almost 9 per cent relative to 2015. Solar PV was the star performer in 2016, accounting for around 47 per cent of the total additions, followed by wind power at 34 per cent, and hydropower at 15.5 per cent. For the fifth consecutive year, investment in new renewable power capacity (including all hydropower) was roughly double the investment in fossil fuel generating capacity, reaching $249.8 billion. The world now adds more renewable power capacity annually than it adds in net new capacity from all fossil fuels combined.
Cost for electricity from solar PV and wind is rapidly falling. Record-breaking tenders for solar PV occurred in Argentina, Chile, India, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with bids in some markets below $0.03 per kWh. Parallel developments in the wind power sector saw record low bids in several countries, including Chile, India, Mexico, and Morocco. Record lows in offshore wind power tenders in Denmark and the Netherlands brought Europe’s industry closer to its goal to produce offshore wind power more cheaply than coal by 2025.
Source: REN21, 2017, REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report (GFR), Paris, REN21 Secretariat