Annual Reports

REN21 Annual Report 2017


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It is with great pleasure that we present an overview of REN21’s activities in 2017.

Broadening the discussion beyond that of renewable energy and energy efficiency was a central theme of this year’s work The centrality of energy in many sectors makes it important to look beyond the renewable energy sector itself. In 2017, REN21 worked directly with other sectors – such as transport, climate, and energy access – to see how renewable energy could contribute to meeting those sectors’ objectives. The Mexico International Renewable Energy Conference (MEXIREC) held mid-September was an excellent example of this approach in action. REN21’s dynamic, multi-stakeholder network was crucial in reaching out to other sectors, providing information, guidance and critically reviewing inputs.

The value of this network is nowhere better illustrated that in the production of REN21’s Renewables Global Status Report (GSR). Thanks to the participation of  800 experts the result is nothing less than a compelling story about renewable energy growth in all parts of the world. Another of this year’s achievements was the release of the Renewables 100% Global Futures Report: Great debates towards a 100% renewable energy future. The report was designed to spur debate about the opportunities and challenges of a 100% renewable energy future.

The above are just a few examples that demonstrate REN21’s unique place in the renewables arena. By working across key stakeholder groups, REN21 connects the dots between the private and public sector and maps out ways to drive the energy transition with renewables.

REN21 Annual Report 2016


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2016 began, riding on the momentum of the Paris Agreement. The commitment by 195 countries to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius sent a clear signal: we have to radically rethink how we produce and consume energy if we are to meet this target. The pledge of 48 climate vulnerable countries at COP22 to use only renewable energy by 2050 further strengthens this resolve.

Building on the energy of COP21, REN21 expanded its efforts on “connecting the dots” to drive the energy transition. The Secretariat worked to link the private and public sector on renewable energy issues: it hosted events to bring stakeholders from different sectors together to debate and identify points of commonality; it provided high quality information about what is happening in the renewables realm in “real time” so that decision-makers could make the best decisions possible; it connected 800 renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access experts from around the world to provide the latest data.

The connections formed around the Renewables 2016 Global Status Report were the highlight of the year. One hundred and eighty experts joined the 2016 report process, equivalent to the total number of GSR experts in 2012. By the end of 2016 REN21 had a total of 2050 reviewers and contributors in its network. Collectively this network engages in the GSR process, giving their time, contributing data and providing comment in the peer review process. The result is nothing less than a compelling story about renewable energy growth in all parts of the world.

REN21 Annual Report 2015

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2015 Global Status Report (GSR) marks the 10th edition of REN21’s flagship publication. Over the past decade the GSR has expanded in scope and depth with its thematic and regional coverage and the refinement of data collection. It benefits from a multi-stakeholder community of over 500 experts. Ten years on, the GSR has established itself as the world’s most frequently-referenced report on the global renewable energy market, industry and policy landscape. The report was launched at the Vienna Energy Forum 19 June in Vienna, Austria.

Over the course of the year, the two regional reports, SADC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report and the UNECE Renewables Status Report offered insight into regional developments, illustrating the continued penetration of renewables in both developing and emerging regions. The highlight of 2015 was the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC). Over 3,600 delegates from 82 countries converged on Cape Town to debate, learn and network. Parallel sessions, side events, an exhibition and 35 site visits provided ample opportunity for delegates to exchange ideas, meet new people and renew old acquaintances. Co-organised by the Republic of South Africa, Department of Energy, SANEDI and REN21, SAIREC demonstrated that Africa is the business destination for the renewable energy sector and lived up to the conference tag line, RE-Energising Africa. REN21 ended the year with a multi-partner collaboration at the climate talks in Paris.

For the first time at any UN climate conference, renewable energy solutions were showcased to governments, media and the public in a series of high profile events, collectively known as the ”Renewable Energy Track”. REN21 along with the European Commission, the Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables (SER), IRENA and the United Arab Emirates, hosted a series of events, clustered around the Lima-Paris Action Agenda days, linking them under a common logo and the tag line, RE-Energising the Future.

REN21 Annual Report 2014

    Annual report_2014_cover

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2014 marked a decade since the seminal event, renewables 2004, held in Bonn, Germany. It was the first time an international conference was held dedicated to renewables. It’s international steering committee eventually evolved into REN21.

In November 2014, REN21 celebrated its 10th anniversary by hosting the first RE21 Renewables Academy, brining together REN21 contributors for the first time in one location. Over the course of 2 1/2 days, 150 participants from over 40 countries listened and debated on issues in renewables, ranging from fossil fuel subsidies, to the impact of the media and public relations, and vision for the next decade of renewables.

Over the course of the year, REN21 continued to promote the uptake of renewables through its various activities. The REN21 Renewables Global Status Report showcased new developments, particularly the spectacular increase in renewable energy targets and policies in developing countries. The Mini-grid Policy Toolkit, developed with EUEI PDF and ARE, presented the core elements needed to scale up mini-grids. The ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report presented cost effective solutions for the challenged facing West Africa. A 10 year retrospective of the evolution of renewable energy uptake, The First Decade: 2004-2014, charted the progress of the renewable sector, while laying out a path for the coming decade. Collectively, these publications and outreach helped REN21 to spread the message of renewables far and wide over the course the year.

REN21 Annual Report 2013


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The year began with a wave of activity, REN21 co-organised the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference together with the government of the United Arab Emirates. This first Middle Eastern IREC was timely as the MENA region is poised to be a renewable energy champion as documented in REN21’s MENA Renewables Status Report. January also the launch of a new publication, the Renewables Globals Futures Report. This provided valuable insights into the current opinions on the future of renewable energy.

REN21 continued its close collaboration with key players such as the IEA, UNEP, World Bank and IRENA, leading to joint events and products and a underlying organisational complementarities. The REN21 Global Status Report  showcased an impressive increase in global capacity across all renewable energy sectors, with supporting policies spreading to nearly 140 countries. Investment in renewables also increased substantially.

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