The REN21 Renewables 2007 Global Status Report found that last year, wind power capacity increased about 28 percent and solar power capacity went up 52 percent. Renewable energy employs 2.4 million people and 65 countries now have national standards for accelerating the use of renewables. Investors and businesses of all sizes have followed suit. And while that’s impressive, Mohamed El-Ashr, Chair of Ren21, had this interesting comment:
“So much has happened in the renewable energy sector during the past five years that the perceptions of some politicians and energy-sector analysts lag far behind the reality of where the renewables industry is today … This leadership has never been more important, as renewable energy has now reached the top of the international policy agenda under the United Nations and the G8.”
That is, some are asking “so, does this wind power thing really work?” while much of the world is blowing ahead of them.
Other report highlights from the report:
* Renewable energy represents 5 percent of global power capacity and 3.4 percent of global power generation.
* The largest portion of the renewable power capacity increase has been wind power.
* The fastest growing technology in the world is grid-connected solar photovoltaics (PV), with an increase equal to 1.5 million PV-powered homes worldwide.
* Production of biodiesel is up more than 50 percent.
* Of the $71 billion invested in renewable energy, fuel, and heat, 47 percent was for wind power and 30 percent for solar PV.
* Policies to promote renewable energy have mushroomed. At least 60 countries — 37 developed nations and 23 developing ones — have some type of policy to promote renewable power.