Report shows continuing global trend toward renewable energy sources
In 2011, there was again a massive increase in the use of renewable energy worldwide. Global investment in the sector rose by about 17 percent over 2010 levels, reaching a record high of 257 billion US dollars. This was announced on 11 June by the REN21 policy network in its annual Renewables Global Status Report (GSR).
Renewable energy now supplies 16.7 percent of final energy consumption and about 20.3 percent of global electricity consumption worldwide. "These figures are impressive evidence that by transforming our national energy system in Germany, we are acting as a global trendsetter. The transformation of our energy system helps Germany maintain its role as a pioneer in a dynamic global growth sector that helps us reconcile climate change mitigation, energy security and sustainable growth," said German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier.
German Development Minister Dirk Niebel added, "The global shift toward renewable energy has become reality. Germany has helped to bring this about through its activities in developing and emerging economies. For one thing, we have paved the way for renewable energy by providing advice and support to our partners as they created the requisite institutional framework. In addition, we are pursuing practical renewable energy projects in our partner countries which are now helping to boost the sector."
Total investment in the sector was 40 billion US dollars higher than investment in fossil energy generation capacity. The number of countries that have adopted targets for the expansion of renewable energy has risen again, reaching 118. More than half of them are developing countries. Growth in the renewable energy sector mainly took place in China, the U.S., and Germany, as well as Spain, Italy, India, and Japan.
The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) is a global network that was formed in 2005 after the "renewables 2004" conference in Bonn. It unites governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations as well as representatives of the private sector, the financial sector, and civil society organisations from the energy, environment and development spheres. REN21 receives financial support from the German Environment and Development Ministries.