Monday, March 03, 2008

Renewables 2007 Global Status Report

Feb 27: The renewable energy industry is stepping up its "meteoric rise" into the mainstream of the energy sector, according to the REN21 Renewables 2007 Global Status Report. Renewable energy production capacities are growing rapidly as a result of more countries enacting far-reaching policies. Prepared by the Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) in collaboration with the Worldwatch Institute, the Renewables 2007 Global Status Report paints an encouraging picture of rapidly expanding renewable energy markets, policies, industries, and rural applications around the world.

In 2007, global wind generating capacity is estimated to have increased 28 percent, while grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity rose 52 percent. Mohamed El-Ashry, Chair of REN21 said, “So much has happened in the renewable energy sector during the past five years that the perceptions of some politicians and energy-sector analysts lag far behind the reality of where the renewables industry is today."

Renowned researcher Dr. Eric Martinot led an international team of 140 researchers and contributors from both developed and developing countries to produce the report. He says renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and small-scale hydropower offer countries the means to improve their energy security and spur economic development. Citing the report, Martinot says the renewable energy sector now accounts for 2.4 million jobs globally, and has doubled electric generating capacity since 2004, to 240 gigawatts. According to the report in 2007, more than $100 billion was invested in new renewable energy capacity, manufacturing plants, and research and development -- a true global milestone.

More than 65 countries now have national goals for accelerating the use of renewable energy and are enacting far-reaching policies to meet those goals. Multilateral agencies and private investors alike are integrating renewable energy into their mainstream portfolios, capturing the interest of the largest global companies. Worldwatch President Chris Flavin says the report shows that renewable energy is poised to make a significant contribution to meeting energy needs and reducing the growth in carbon dioxide emissions in the years immediately ahead. He said, “The science is telling us we need to substantially reduce emissions now, but this will only happen with even stronger policies to accelerate the growth of clean energy."

The Renewables 2007 Global Status Report was released ahead of the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC), taking place March 4–6 in Washington, DC. WIREC will be the third such international conference following those in Bonn in 2004 and Beijing in 2005.

REN21 is a global policy network that provides a forum for international leadership on renewable energy. Its goal is to bolster policy development for the rapid expansion of renewable energies in developing and industrialized economies. The establishment of the global policy network REN21 was embraced in the Political Declaration of the International Conference for Renewable Energies, renewables 2004, that took place in Bonn, Germany, from 1 to 4 June 2004.

Access a release and links to the complete 54-page report and a slide presentation (
click here). Access the REN21 website (click here). Access the WIREC website for extensive information on the conference (click here). [*Energy]