Despite economic uncertainties, global power generation from renewable sources of energy is seen to grow by more than 40 percent to almost 6,400 terawatt-hours over the next five years, or roughly 1.5 times the current electricity production in the United States, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.
Renewable energy generation from 2011 to 2017 is expected to be around 1,840 terawatt-hours, 60 percent more than the registered growth of 1,160 terawatt-hours in 2005 to 2011.
The study says more markets will be venturing into renewable energy, especially non-members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Those new markets would be accounting for two-thirds of the total growth.
China will have the largest share of the 710-gigawatt growth at 40 percent, while significant growth will be posted as well in other countries including the United States, India, Germany and Brazil.
Hydropower is still the largest renewable energy source globally with a growth of 730 terawatt-hours more in 2011 to 2017, driven by non-O.E.C.D. countries. Onshore wind, bioenergy and solar are right behind, respectively, with growth split equally between O.E.C.D. members and non-members.
The report indicates the maturing portfolio of renewable energy technologies, supportive policy, and market frameworks in O.E.C.D. countries were instrumental in this growth, but increasing electricity demand and energy security needs have also spurred growth especially in emerging markets.
“These new deployment opportunities are creating a virtuous cycle of improved global competition and cost reductions,” the report said.
“Renewable energy is expanding rapidly as technologies mature, with deployment transitioning from support-driven markets to new and potentially more competitive segments in many countries,” I.E.A. executive director Maria van der Hoeven said. “Market stakeholders need a clear understanding of the major drivers and barriers to renewable deployment.” – N.P. Arboleda