The last ten years of excellence in renewables is being compiled by REN21 Renewables Global Status Report (GSR). It reports on the tremendous advances in renewable energy markets, policy frameworks and industries globally. This reliable, timely and regularly updated data on renewable energy is essential for decision makers; for demonstrating the increasing role that renewables play in the energy sector; and illustrating that the renewable energy transition is a reality. The GSR is the product of systematic data collection resulting in thousands of data points, the use of hundreds of documents, and personal communication with experts from around the world. It benefits from a multi-stakeholder community of over 500 experts.
Despite rising energy use, global CO2 emissions associated with energy consumption remained stable over the course of the year while the global economy grew. The landmark “decoupling” of economic and CO2 growth is due in large measure to China’s increased use of renewable resources, and efforts by countries in the OECD to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. It is clear that renewables are becoming a mainstreamed energy resource. However while this year’s report clearly documents advancements in the uptake of renewables, it also demonstrates that there remains untapped potential particularly in the heating and cooling and transport sectors. With the implementation of increasingly ambitious targets and innovative policies, renewables can continue to surpass expectations and create a clean energy future. However the share of renewables in the overall energy mix is still under 20%. This needs to change if access to clean, modern renewable energy services for all to be assured by 2030.