On March 30, 2020, REN 21, a think tank and a multistakeholder governance group which is focused on renewable energy policy, has presented its Renewables Global Status Report 2019. The Report describes the status of global renewable energy in 2018-2019, and further prospects for a global “green” energy transition. The Report also presents general trends in RES sector as of the beginning of 2019, describes the process of managing the energy transition with a detailed explanation of the pace of its development.

Key findings:

  • Nowadays, renewable energy is a main element of the global power generation structure which plays a key role in reducing carbon emissions from both the industrial sector and individual consumers.
  • In many regions, the sources of RES are becoming more competitive, accessible and cheap for use and maintenance, and its further development is no longer dependent only on the financial capabilities of the advanced countries. In 17 countries, the RES capacities (mainly solar and wind energy, excluding hydropower) is more than 10 GW, and in 45 countries it is more than 1 GW. With regard to hydropower, more than 90 countries have more than 1 GW of RES capacities, and 30 countries have more than 10 GW of clean energy. In the developing countries of the African and Asian regions, nearly 150 million people have accessed electricity through the use of autonomous solar photovoltaic systems.
  • 100 cities all over the world generate more than 70% of their electricity from RES.
  • Globally, renewables provided an estimated more than 26% of global electricity generation by year’s end. Since 2000, the share of RE electricity generation has increased more than tenfold, of which the largest share is wind and solar energy.
  • The total RES capacities increased to 2,378 GW in 2018, of which 591 GW fell on wind power, 505 GW on solar power, and 130 GW on bioenergy.
  • Wind energy. The global wind market was fairly stable, with about 51 GW added in 2018, boosting cumulative capacity 9% to 591 GW. Following a record year for wind power in Europe and India in 2017, both markets contracted in 2018, but notable growth occurred in several other regions and countries. Asia was the largest regional market, representing nearly 52% of added capacity. In the offshore segment, seven countries in Europe and two in Asia connected 4.5 GW, increasing cumulative global capacity 24% to 23.1 GW.
  • Dollar investment in new renewable power capacity (including all hydropower) once again far exceeded that invested in fossil and nuclear power capacity in 2018. Investment in renewable energy continued to focus on solar power, particularly solar PV, which secured USD 139.7 billion during the year. Asset finance of utility-scale projects, such as wind farms and solar parks, dominated investment at USD 236.5 billion.
  • China remains the leader in developing and investing in renewable energy (the largest investor in wind energy at the beginning of 2019). The US, Japan, and India are behind the China.
  • Renewable energy is a powerful tool for new jobs. As of early 2019, 11 million jobs were created in the RES sector.

The full version of the Report provides more information.