China Leads World in Renewables Capacity
REN21, an international organization that tracks renewable energy developments, reports that in 2012, renewable energy provided an estimated 19 percent of global final energy consumption and continued to grow in 2013.
According to its “Renewables 2014 Global Status Report,” some highlights of 2013 include:
- China’s new renewable power capacity surpassed new fossil fuel and nuclear capacity for the first time.
- In the European Union, renewables represented the majority of new electric generating capacity for the sixth consecutive year.
- Variable renewables achieved high levels of penetration in several countries. For example, throughout 2013, wind power met 33.2 percent of electricity demand in Denmark; in Italy, solar PV met 7.8 percent of total annual electricity demand.
- Wind power was excluded from one of Brazil’s national auctions because it was pricing all other generation sources out of the market.
- Denmark banned the use of fossil fuel-fired boilers in new buildings as of 2013 and aims for renewables to provide almost 40 percent of total heat supply by 2020.
By early 2014, at least 144 countries had renewable energy targets and 138 countries had renewable energy support policies in place, up from the 138 and 127 countries, respectively, that were reported in GSR 2013.
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