“The world has seen record uptake of renewables, record capacity installation driven by wind and PV because of the massive cost reductions, but it is clear that the ‘detransformations’ of the energy system required are not there,” noted REN21 executive director Rana Adib.
On 15 June, the Renewables 2021 Global Status Report compiles developments from the past year on the market, policy and technology trends in renewable energy was published.
➖ The REN21 report highlighted that while a record 135 countries pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the run-up to the COP26 climate conference in 2021, only 84 had “economy-wide targets” for renewable energy and only 39 for 100% clean energy.
➖ Most of the increase in global energy demand in 2021 was met with fossil fuels, contributing to the largest increase in global CO2 emissions in history (up 6% after falling 5% in 2020 – an increase of more than 2 billion tonnes).
➖Progress in renewable energy deployment occurred mainly in the power sector, where the share of renewables is the highest, at 28%.
➖The biggest success stories are solar PV and wind. Together, these two sources accounted for nearly 90% of all new renewable power additions. Solar PV represented more than half of the additions (around 175 GW) and wind power another 102 GW.
➖By the end of 2021, around 1,500 cities had renewable energy targets and/or policies, collectively covering more than 1.3 billion people or 30% of the global urban population. In line with global trends, net-zero announcements skyrocketed, with targets present in more than 1,100 cities by year’s end.
➖Energy use in buildings accounts for around one-third of global final energy demand, yet renewables are progressing only slowly in the sector. In 2019, renewables accounted for 14.7% of energy use in buildings, representing only a 4 percentage-point increase from a decade before.
➖The share of renewable energy in the industry increased only 3.6 percentage points between 2011 and 2019, reaching 16.1%.
*The report’s findings are truly global as they are crowdsourced from hundreds of contributors from industry, NGOs, governments and academia from around the world.
*Infographic from the Report