The 2017 edition of the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report, launched in June 2017 to provide a comprehensive annual overview of the state of renewable energy, reveals that 2016 was another extraordinary year for renewable energy.
As of 2015, renewable energy provided 19.3% of global final energy consumption, of which 9.1% were traditional biomass and 10.2% modern renewables.
In the power sector, solar photovoltaics (47% of newly installed renewable power capacity in 2016) and wind (34% of newly installed renewable power capacity) were the most dynamic areas. Overall, by end of 2016, renewables covered 24.5% of global electricity demand.
2016 was the third year in a row where decoupling of economic growth and energy-related CO2 emissions occurred.
Despite good performance of renewables and significant advancement in the global renewable energy transition, further and faster progress is required. Some areas:
- Although achieved progress in adoption of renewable energy is highly remarkable, it is not fast enough to reach the Paris Agreement goals.
- Deployment of renewables for heating and cooling remains strongly underdeveloped.
- Community-based renewable energy initiatives, which hold potential to make a vital contribution to speed the energy transition, now face less favourable frameworks compared to some years ago in several countries, resulting in slower pace of growth. As a positive trend, community-based schemes diversify their market activities, for example to also include storage and demand-side management.
The full report is available on the REN21 website:
Renewables 2017 Global Status Report (GSR)
As part of the Sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6), a separate assessment for the pan-European region was launched in June 2016 at the 8th Environment for Europe Conference in Batumi, Georgia. The “GEO-6 Assessment for the pan-European region” provides a comprehensive picture of the current state, trends and an outlook for the environment in the region, and highlights factors that influence prosperity, human health and wellbeing. Focused under the lens of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), the report demonstrates that the challenges, but also the solutions, today are highly interlinked and more systemic.
“Clean air, water, resilient ecosystems and sound management of chemicals and waste are essential for a healthy planet and healthy people. Closing resource-use loops through the promotion of circular economy principles will be a necessary part of the solution, providing much-needed jobs and economic sustainability. The transition towards an inclusive green economy in the pan-European region presents a significant opportunity, which will require the active engagement of a “coalition of the willing” at all levels of society. It demands a fundamental redesign of energy, food, mobility and urban systems, as well as a change in lifestyles. Countries in the region have much to contribute to the shaping of a shared vision of the future.” (Foreword UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, to the GEO-6 Assessment for the pan-European region)
Direct download of report as pdf: GEO-6 Assessment for the pan-European region
E-book, particularly useful for mobile access: GEO-6 Assessment for the pan-European region (E-book)
Related material and access to all GEO-6 regional reports: UNEP Science-Policy Interface
Dr. Sigrid Kusch contributed to the report as coordinating lead author of Chapter 2 “Environmental state and trends” and as co-author of Chapter 4 “Outlooks and emerging issues”.