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REN21 10 Years Report - Renewables in Different World Regions

22 A decade ago, markets for modern renewable energy tech- nologies were concentrated primarily in Europe and the United States. Over the course of the past decade, renewables deploy- ment has reached all continents. This section provides a broad overview of the current state of renewable energy deployment in different world regions,i of existing policy frameworks, milestones of the past decade as well as main challenges facing increased renewable uptake. AFRICA: SUB-SAHARAN n GENERAL OVERVIEW Over the past decade the population growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has outpaced electricity access efforts. By the end of 2013, only 43% of the SSA population had access to electric- ity, with the result that the increase in demand did not match expansion plans for renewable energy across all sectors. This remains one of the main challenges across the sub-Saharan region. The strong interconnection between climate change and energy access policy is not reflected adequately in the political debate yet. Unstable policy frameworks and rapidly changing renewable energy support schemes have led to financing chal- lenges as investors are wary of regressive policies and the nega- tive effect they have on investments. However over the past five years an increasing number of SSA countries are establishing policy frameworks, which are leading to substantial increases in national renewable energy markets. The overall perception of renewable energy in SSA is gener- ally positive. Nonetheless in many SSA countries technologies such as solar PV are still seen primarily as off-grid tools which are expensive and marginal for grid-connected generation, and with little potential to deliver large quantities of needed electric- ity. Large hydropower stations have also sparked opposition for a number of reasons. Some forms of biofuels—especially Jathropha—have caused disappointment in their ability to deliver because of unanticipated farming difficulties and overes- timated potentials. n MAIN DRIVERS FOR RENEWABLES Drivers for the expansion of renewable energy are numerous and vary from country to country. Access to energy, the creation of local jobs and security of supply are among the main drivers for Renewables in Different World Regions 4Over the past decade, renewables have grown worldwide at different speeds and stimulated by various drivers. This section is based on interviews with REN21’s network partners. It provides a snapshot of the main drivers of, and challenge for renewable energy deployment in the respective world regions. i) The OECD classification of regions has informed the grouping of certain countries in this section. Groupings are presented alphabetically.

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