NO MORE STAGNATION: Renewables Add 103 Gigawatts in 2014
The news that renewable energy producers added 103 gigawatts (103 billion watts) of new capacity in 2014 shows the world may be finally emerging from “the clean energy stagnation,” analyst Jesse Jenkins writes on The Energy Collective.
“The share of renewable electricity (excluding large hydropower) in the global electricity mix ticked upwards from 8.5% in 2013 to 9.1% in 2014,” so that the combined total of all renewables “is now nearly on par with the 10.5% of global electricity supplied by nuclear power,” Jenkins writes.
Like this story? Subscribe to The Energy Mix and never miss an edition of our free e-digest.
“The growth of renewables was enough to push fossil energy’s share of the mix down by 1.2 percentage points,” he adds, citing analysis by Jessica Lovering of the Breakthrough Institute. “That follows a 2% decline in fossil energy’s share from 2012 to 2013.”
The headline news last week came from a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance that tracked US$270 billion in clean energy investment in 2014 (excluding large hydro), a 17% increase over 2013.
“This was the first increase for three years, and reflected several influences, including a boom in solar installations in China and Japan, totalling $74.9 billion between those two countries, and a record $18.6 billion of final investment decisions on offshore wind projects in Europe,” UNEP and Bloomberg reported. Wind and solar saw a record 95 GW in combined new capacity, while clean energy investment in developing countries grew 36%.
“Two years is a short trend,” Jenkins notes. The longer-term picture will depend “on how much longer the renewable energy industry can continue to expand at rapid compound annual growth rates.”