Renewables 2010 Global Status Report
The Renewables 2010 Global Status Report provides an integrated perspective on the global renewable energy situation. Since the first Global Status Report was produced in 2005, the analysis has become the most frequently referenced report on renewable energy business and policy, serving a wide range of audiences from investors and government decision makers to students, project developers, researchers, and industrial manufacturers. It provides 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 Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), a global policy network that provides a forum for international leadership on renewable energy, produced the report in collaboration with a global network of research partners. Worldwatch Senior Fellows Janet Sawin and Eric Martinot served as the report's lead authors.
- For the second year in a row, in both the United States and Europe, more renewable power capacity was added than conventional power capacity (coal, gas, nuclear). Renewables accounted for 60 percent of newly installed power capacity in Europe in 2009, and nearly 20 percent of annual power production.
- China added 37 GW of renewable power capacity, more than any other country in the world, to reach 226 GW of total renewables capacity. Globally, nearly 80 GW of renewable capacity was added, including 31 GW of hydro and 48 GW of non-hydro capacity.
- Wind power additions reached a record high of 38 GW. China was the top market, with 13.8 GW added, representing more than one-third of the world market — up from just a 2 percent market share in 2004. The United States was second, with 10 GW added. The share of wind power generation in several countries reached record highs, including 6.5 percent in Germany and 14 percent in Spain.
- Solar PV additions reached a record high of 7 GW. Germany was the top market, with 3.8 GW added, or more than half the global market. Other large markets were Italy, Japan, the United States, Czech Republic, and Belgium. Spain, the world leader in 2008, saw installations plunge to a low level in 2009 after a policy cap was exceeded.
- Many countries saw record biomass use. Notable was Sweden, where biomass accounted for a larger share of energy supply than oil for the first time.
- Biofuels production contributed the energy equivalent of 5 percent of world gasoline output.
- Almost all renewable energy industries experienced manufacturing growth in 2009, despite the continuing global economic crisis, although many capital expansion plans were scaled back or postponed. Impaired access to equity markets, difficulty in obtaining finance, and industry consolidations negatively affected almost all companies.
- Nearly 11 GW of solar PV was produced, a 50-percent increase over 2008. First Solar (USA) became the first firm ever to produce over 1 GW in a single year. Major crystalline module price declines took place, by 50–60 percent by some estimates, from highs of $3.50 per watt in 2008 to lows approaching $2 per watt.
- Wind power received more than 60 percent of utilityscale renewables investment in 2009 (excluding small projects), due mostly to rapid expansion in China.
- Investment totals in utility-scale solar PV declined relative to 2008, partly an artifact of large drops in the costs of solar PV. However, this decline was offset by record investment in small-scale (rooftop) solar PV projects.
- Investment in new biofuels plants declined from 2008 rates, as corn ethanol production capacity was not fully utilized in the United States and several firms went bankrupt. The Brazilian sugar ethanol industry likewise faced economic troubles, with no growth despite ongoing expansion plans. Europe faced similar softening in biodiesel, with low production capacity utilization.
- "Green stimulus" efforts since late-2008 by many of the world's major economies totaled close to $200 billion, although most stimulus was slow to start and less than 10 percent of green stimulus funds was spent during 2009.
REN21 is a global policy network in which ideas are shared and action is encouraged to promote renewable energy. REN21 provides a forum for leadership and exchange in international policy processes. It bolsters appropriate policies that increase the wise use of renewable energies in developing and industrialized economies. Open to a wide variety of dedicated stakeholders, REN21 connects governments, international institutions, nongovernmental organizations, industry associations, and other partnerships and initiatives.
Linking actors from the energy, development, and environment communities, REN21 leverages their successes and strengthens their influence for the rapid expansion of renewable energy worldwide.
See www.ren21.net for more information.