The international organisation REN21 has recently published the ‘Renewables 2019 Global Status Report’ which ensures that renewable energies currently supply more than a quarter (26%) of the world’s electricity production. However, the document warns that recent trends show that more ambitious policy decisions are needed across all sectoral activities to make the renewable energy system sustainable.
The report, which analyzes the global status of renewable energy, confirms that installed renewable electricity capacity in 2018 exceeded that generated by nuclear energy and fossil fuels combined, for the fourth consecutive year. Photovoltaic solar energy alone amounted to 100 gigawatts (GW) in 2018, enough to meet 25% of France’s electricity demand.
However, the document points out that the lack of ambitious and sustained policies to promote decarbonization in the heating, cooling and transportation sectors means that countries are not maximizing the benefits of the transition for their populations, including energy security and improved air quality.
“A key breakthrough could occur if countries eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels, which drive a type of energy harmful to the system and the population,” says Rana Adib, executive secretary of REN21, an organization that stresses that the implementation of ambitious regulatory frameworks is critical to creating favorable and competitive conditions.
Among other things, the report reveals that photovoltaic solar energy and wind energy are currently the two main trends in the electricity sector. More than 90 countries had more than 1 GW of installed renewable energy electrical capacity, while 30 countries had more than 10 GW. At least nine countries generated more than 20% of their electricity from solar photovoltaic and wind power, including Spain, along with Denmark, Uruguay, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Greece, the United Kingdom and Honduras.
It also points out that the incorporation of renewable energy no longer depends on just a few countries. In 2018, the global deployment of renewable energies maintained a generally constant pace, although slightly higher in the European Union. And it is also stressed that cities have shown signs of being strong drivers for the deployment of renewable energy, adopting some of the most ambitious targets for renewable energy worldwide.
The international organisation REN21 stresses that there is a great opportunity for countries to promote the expansion of the energy transition to the heating, cooling and transport sectors. Renewable energy supplies more than 26% of global electricity, yet only 10% of the energy used for heating, cooling, and just over 3% for transport. This imbalance between energy sectors is largely due to insufficient or inconsistent support for energy policies. The number of countries with a renewables policy for the heat sector decreased in 2018.