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Jul 05, 2012

40% growth in global renewable energy generation forecast

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday that global renewable power generation would increase by over 40% over the next five years, driven by growth in China.

In its first-ever renewable energy market report, the IEA stated that global power generation from hydropower, solar, wind and other renewable sources was projected to increase to almost 6 400 terawatt hours (TWh) – or roughly one-and-a-half times current electricity production in the US.

“Renewable electricity generation should expand by 1 840 TWh between 2011 and 2017, almost 60% above the 1 160 TWh growth registered between 2005 and 2011,” the report, which examined 15 key markets, stated.

It also found that renewable power generation would increasingly shift from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries to new markets, with non-OECD countries accounting for two-thirds of this growth.

Of the 710 GW of new global renewable electricity capacity expected, China accounted for almost 40%, the IEA said, adding that significant deployment was also expected in the US, India, Germany and Brazil.

“This growth is underpinned by the maturing of a portfolio of renewable energy technologies, in large part due to supportive policy and market frameworks in OECD countries,” the report stated.

IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven said that renewable energy was expanding rapidly as technologies matured, with deployment transitioning from support-driven markets to new and potentially more competitive segments in many countries.

The report stated that hydropower would continue to account for the majority of renewable generation, registering the largest absolute growth of any single renewable technology over 2011 to 2017, largely driven by non-OECD countries.

Non-hydropower renewable technologies would also continue to scale up quickly. Between 2011 and 2017, generation from these technologies would increase by over 1 100 TWh, with growth equally split between OECD and non-OECD countries.

“Onshore wind, bioenergy and solar PV (photovoltaic) would see the largest increases, respectively, in generation after hydropower. Offshore wind and concentrated solar power would grow quickly from low bases, while geothermal would continue to develop in areas with good resources and ocean technologies would take important steps towards commercialisation,” the report said.
 

Edited by: Mariaan Webb
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