March 07, 2008

Renewables 2007 Global Status Report

The Renewables 2007 Global Status Report provides an integrated perspective on the global renewable energy situation. It gives testimony of the undeterred growth of electricity, heat, and fuel production capacities from renewable energy sources, including solar PV, wind power, solar hot water/heating, biofuels, hydropower, and geothermal.

The report is the product of an international team of over 140 researchers and contributors from both developed and developing countries, drawing upon wide-ranging information and expertise across technologies, markets, and countries. Sections include: Global Market Overview, Investment Flows, Industry Trends, Policy Landscape, and Rural (Off-Grid) Renewable Energy. The policy section provides overviews of: policy targets for renewable energy, power generation promotion policies, solar hot water/heating policies, biofuels policies, municipal policies, and green power purchasing and renewable electricity certificates.

The Renewables 2007 Global Status Report is published by REN21 in collaboration with the Worldwatch Institute and was compiled and written by Worldwatch Senior Fellow Eric Martinot. The report is 51 pages long and contains 24 illustrative figures and tables as well as extensive endnote documentation. By design, the report does not provide analysis, discuss current issues, or forecast the future.

Some of the highlights of the report include.

  • Renewable electricity generation capacity reached an estimated 240 gigawatts (GW) worldwide in 2007, an increase of 50 percent over 2004.
  • Renewable energy generated as much electric power worldwide in 2006 as one-quarter of the world’s nuclear power plants, not counting large hydropower. (And more than nuclear counting large hydropower.)
  • Wind Power grew by 28% in 2007.
  • The fastest growing energy technology in the world is grid-connected solar photovoltaics (PV), with 50 percent annual increases in cumulative installed capacity in both 2006 and 2007, to an estimated 7.7 GW. This translates into 1.5 million homes with rooftop solar PV feeding into the grid worldwide.
  • Developing countries as a group have more than 40 percent of existing renewable power capacity, more than 70 percent of existing solar hot water capacity, and 45 percent of biofuels production.
  • Production of biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) exceeded an estimated 53 billion liters in 2007, up 43 percent from 2005. Ethanol production in 2007 represented about 4 percent of the 1,300 billion liters of gasoline consumed globally. Annual biodiesel production increased by more than 50 percent in 2006.

Executive Summary
Full Report (PDF)

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