The year 2016 saw several developments and ongoing trends that all have a bearing on renewable energy, including the continuation of comparatively low global fossil fuel prices; dramatic price reductions of several renewable energy technologies (especially solar PV and wind power); and a continued increase in attention to energy storage.

World primary energy demand has grown by an annual average of around 1.8% since 2011, although the pace of growth has slowed in the past few years, with wide variations by country.1 Growth in primary energy demand has occurred largely in developing countries, whereas in developed countries it has slowed or even declined.2

For the third consecutive year, global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels and industry were nearly flat in 2016, rising only an estimated 0.2%, continuing to break away from the trend of 2.2% average growth during the previous decade.3 This slowing of emissions growth was due largely to declining coal use worldwide but also to improvements in energy efficiency and to increasing power generation from renewable energy sources.4 Globally, coal production declined for the second year in a row.5 In 2016, additional countries committed to moving away from or phasing out coal for electricity generation (e.g., Canada, Finland, France, the Netherlands and the US state of Oregon) or to no longer financing coal use (e.g., Brazil’s development bank).6 Countering this trend, however, a number of countries announced plans to expand coal production and use.7

Despite the overall decline in coal production, relatively low global prices for oil and natural gas during much of the year continued to challenge renewable energy markets, especially in the heating and transport sectors.8 Fossil fuel subsidies, which remained significantly higher than subsidies for renewables, also continued to affect renewable energy growth.9 Building on international commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies – such as the 2009 commitments by the Group of Twenty (G20) and by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) – by the end of 2016 more than 50 countries had committed to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.10 Subsidy reforms were instituted during 2016 in Angola, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Gabon, India, Iran, Kuwait, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Zambia.11

As of 2015, renewable energy provided an estimated 19.3%i of global final energy consumption. Of this total share, traditional biomass, used primarily for cooking and heating in remote and rural areas of developing countries, accounted for about 9.1%, and modern renewables (not including traditional biomass) increased their share relative to 2014 to approximately 10.2%. In 2015, hydropower accounted for an estimated 3.6% of total final energy consumption, other renewable power sources comprised 1.6%, renewable heat energy accounted for approximately 4.2%, and transport biofuels provided about 0.8%.12 ( See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Estimated Renewable Energy Share of Total Final Energy Consumption, 2015


Source: See endnote 12 for this chapter.

The overall share of renewable energy in total final energy consumption has increased only modestly in recent history, despite tremendous growth in the renewable energy sector, particularly for solar PV and wind power. A primary reason for this is the persistently strong growth in overall energy demand (with the exception of a momentary pull-back in 2009 following the onset of a global economic recession), which counteracts the strong forward momentum for modern renewable energy technologies. In addition, the use of traditional biomass for heat, which makes up nearly half of all renewable energy use, has increased, but at a rate that has not kept up with growth in total demand.13 ( See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Growth in Global Renewable Energy Compared to Total Final Energy Consumption, 2004-2014


Source: See endnote 13 for this chapter.

In 2016, the power sector experienced the greatest increases in renewable energy capacity, whereas the growth of renewables in the heating and cooling and transport sectors was comparatively slow. ( See Reference Table R1.) As in 2015, most growth in renewable energy capacity was in solar PV (which led by a wide margin) and in wind power; hydropower continued to represent the majority of renewable power capacity and generation. Bioenergy (including traditional biomass) remained the leader by far in the heat (buildings and industry) and transport sectors.


Growth rates of renewable energy capacity vary substantially across regions and nations, with most new capacity being installed in developing countries, and primarily in China.14 China has been the single largest developer of renewable power and heat for the past eight years.15 In 2016, an ever-growing number of developing countries continued to expand their renewable energy capacities, and some are rapidly becoming important markets. Emerging economies are quickly transforming their energy industries by benefiting from lower-cost, more efficient renewable technologies and more reliable resource forecasting, making countries such as Argentina, Chile, China, India and Mexico attractive markets for investment.16Nonetheless, some unique challenges remained in developing countries during the year, including a lack of infrastructure and of power sector planning, as well as off-taker risks.17

At the national, state and local levels, government policy continued to play an important role in renewable energy developments, although uncertainty in the policy arena also created challenges.18 The number of countries with renewable energy targets and support policies increased again in 2016; targets were in place in 176 countries (up from 173 in 2015), and several jurisdictions made their existing targets more ambitious. ( See Policy Landscape chapter.) Despite the significance of the heat and transport sectors to energy demand and global emissions, policy makers continued to focus predominantly on the power sector.19

At the global level, the 2015 Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) formally entered into force at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016.20 Renewable energy figured prominently in a large portion of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that countries submitted in the lead-up to November.21 Renewable energy markets were affected only indirectly by these developments during 2016; more concrete policy developments resulting from commitments to the Paris Agreement and new announcements had not yet been enacted and/or implemented in most countries.22

Other international efforts of note also took place during the year. At COP22, leaders of the 48 nations that constitute the Climate Vulnerable Forum jointly committed to work towards achieving 100% renewable energy in their respective nations.23 Cities around the world echoed this pledge as they continued to advance commitments to 100% renewable energy, with some already having achieved their goals. ( See Policy Landscape chapter.)

The World Trade Organization continued negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement, which seeks to eliminate tariffs on a number of products including renewable energy technologies, although discussions stalled in December.24

Figure 3. Carbon Pricing Policies, 2016


Note: This figure includes only policies that were implemented as of end-2016. Carbon pricing policies that were enacted or announced but not yet implemented by year’s end do not appear. These include national emissions trading systems (ETS) in China and Ukraine; a national carbon pricing plan in Canada; a national carbon tax in Chile and in South Africa; a provincial carbon tax in Alberta (Canada); and a provincial ETS in Manitoba and in Ontario (Canada). Additional countries and states/provinces not listed here also may have plans to implement carbon pricing policies.

Source: See endnote 25 for this chapter.

Carbon pricing policies (either carbon taxes or emissions trading systems) were in place in a number of jurisdictions worldwide in 2016.25 ( See Figure 3.) If well designed, carbon pricing policies may incentivise the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies by increasing the comparative costs of higher-emission fuels and technologies. However, some uncertainty exists as to whether these mechanisms alone are sufficient to drive deployment of renewable energy, even if well-designed, due to other factors at play, including the structure of power markets and regulations governing market access.26


In parallel with growth in renewable energy markets, renewable energy employment expanded during 2016. The number of jobs in renewables rose again, reaching an estimated 9.8 million jobs worldwide – a majority of which were in Asia.27 ( See Sidebar 1.)

The year also saw continued advances in renewable energy technologies, including innovations in solar PV manufacturing and installation and in cell and module efficiency and performance; improvements in wind turbine materials and design as well as in operation and maintenance (O&M), which further reduced costs and raised capacity factors; advances in thermal energy storage for concentrating solar thermal power (CSP); new advanced control technologies for electric grids that facilitate increased integration of renewable energy; and improvements in the production of advanced biofuels.28

Ongoing advances in energy efficiency are reducing the cost of providing energy services with renewable energy, whether on-grid or off-grid. ( See Sidebar 3 and Energy Efficiency chapter.) As penetrations of variable renewable energy continued to increase in 2016, there also was increased attention to energy storage, particularly in the power sector.29 Electric vehicles, valued for their contribution to improving local air quality, gained attention in some markets for their ability to help integrate variable renewable electricity generation. ( See Enabling Technologies chapter.)

Modern renewable energy is being used increasingly in power generation, heating and cooling, and transport. The following sections discuss 2016 developments and trends in these sectors.

iThe methodology for calculating the renewable share of total final energy consumption has been modified from earlier versions of the Renewables Global Status Report (GSR). Based on the previous methodology, the estimated share for 2015 is about 19.6%. For details, See endnote 12 for this chapter.ii


Renewable power generating capacity saw its largest annual increase ever in 2016, with an estimated 161 gigawatts (GW) of capacity added.30 Total global renewable power capacity was up almost 9% compared to 2015, to nearly 2,017 GW at year’s end.31 Solar PV saw record additions and, for the first time, accounted for more additional power capacity (net of decommissioned capacity) than any other generating technology.32 Solar PV represented about 47% of newly installed renewable power capacity in 2016, and wind and hydropower accounted for most of the remainder, contributing about 34% and 15.5%, respectively.33( See Reference Table R1.)


The world now adds more renewable power capacity annually than it adds (net) capacity from all fossil fuels combined.34 In 2016, renewables accounted for an estimated nearly 62% of net additions to global power generating capacity and represented far higher shares of capacity added in several countries around the world.35 By year’s end, renewables comprised an estimated 30% of the world’s power generating capacity – enough to supply an estimated 24.5% of global electricity, with hydropower providing about 16.6%.36 ( See Figure 4.)

Figure 4. Estimated Renewable Energy Share of Global Electricity Production, End-2016


Note: Based on renewable generating capacity at year-end 2016

Source: See endnote 36 for this chapter.

By the end of 2016, the top countries for total installed renewable electric capacity continued to be China, the United States, Brazil, Germany and Canada.37 China was home to more than one-quarter of the world’s renewable power capacity – totalling approximately 564 GW, including about 305 GW of hydropower.38

Considering only non-hydroi capacity, the top countries were China, the United States and Germany; they were followed by Japan, India and Italy, and by Spain and the United Kingdom (with about equal amounts of capacity by year’s end).39 ( See Figure 5 and Reference Table R2.) The world’s top countries for non-hydro renewable power capacity per inhabitant were Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Germany.40

Figure 5. Renewable Power Capacities in World, BRICS, EU-28 and Top 6 Countries, 2016


Note: Not including hydropower. Distinction is made because hydropower remains the largest single component by far of renewable power capacity, and thus can mask developments in other renewable energy technologies if included. ( See Reference Table R2 for data including hydropower.) The five BRICS countries are Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa.

Throughout 2016, variable renewables achieved high penetration levels in several countries: for example, wind power met 37.6% of electricity demand in Denmark, 27% in Ireland, 24% in Portugal, 19.7% in Cyprus and 10.5% in Costa Rica; and solar PV accounted for 9.8% of electricity demand in Honduras, 7.3% in Italy, 7.2% in Greece and 6.4% in Germany.41 Higher penetration levels of variable renewable energy have been met with curtailments in some countries, particularly in China.42 However, for short periods of time, some countries and regions managed to integrate very high levels of variable renewable energy as shares of total demand, for example in Denmark (140%) and Scotland (106%).43

The ongoing growth and geographical expansion of renewable energy was driven by the continued decline in prices for renewable energy technologies (in particular, for solar PV and wind power), by rising power demand in some countries and by targeted renewable energy support mechanisms.44 Solar PV and onshore wind power are now competitive with new fossil fuel generation in an increasing number of locations due in part to declines in system component prices and to improvements in generation efficiency.45 Bid prices for offshore wind power also dropped significantly in Europe during 2016.46 ( See Market and Industry Trends chapter and Sidebar 2.)

Such declines are particularly important in developing and emerging economies and in isolated electric systems (such as islands or isolated rural communities) where electricity prices tend to be high (if they are not heavily subsidised), where there is a shortage of generation and where renewable energy resources are particularly plentiful, making renewable electricity more competitive relative to other options.47 Many developing countries are racing to bring new power generating capacity online to meet rapidly rising electricity demand, often turning to renewable technologies (that may be grid-connected or off-grid) through policies such as tendering or feed-in tariffs (FITs) to achieve this desired growth quickly.48

Throughout 2016, there were noteworthy renewable energy developments in the power sector in most regions of the world.

Asia: China leads the world in installed capacities of hydropower, wind power and solar PV.49 The country saw record installations of solar PV, raising the country’s total capacity by 45%.50 Curtailment rates of wind and solar power increased in 2016, reflecting ongoing integration challenges.51 Outside of China, most of the renewable power generated in Asia is from hydropower, but its share is decreasing relative to other renewable power technologies, especially solar PV and wind power.52 In India, wind power and solar PV capacity increased substantially, and bio-power generation was up 8% relative to 2015.53 Indonesia and Turkey led the world in new geothermal power installations in 2016.54

Europe: Continuing an ongoing trend, renewable energy accounted for a large majority (86%) of all new power installations in the EU, dominated by wind power and solar PV.55 Nonetheless, legislative proposals by the European Commission during the year, known collectively as the “Clean Energy for All Europeans Package”, caused some concern for the renewables sector (including manufacturers, project developers, investors and financing institutions). Concerns stemmed from proposals to remove priority access and dispatch for renewable energy, from the level of 2030 targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, from the absence of binding national targets or indicative benchmarks, and from the planned mandatory replacement of FITs by tendering.56

North America: In the United States, renewable energy accounted for over 15% of total electricity generation, up from 13.7% in 2015.57 Bio-power generation was down in 2016, but electricity generated by wind energy and solar PV increased substantially.58 More solar PV capacity was installed in the United States in 2016 than any other power source.59 Operation of the country’s first offshore wind farm also began during the year.60 In Canada, hydropower continued to be a dominant source of power generation, although wind power has been the largest source of new generation for the past 11 years.61

Latin America: Countries across the region achieved high shares of electricity generation with variable renewable energy. For example, Honduras supplied 9.8% of its electricity with solar PV, and in Uruguay wind power supplied 22.8% of electricity consumption in 2016.62 In addition, a number of Caribbean islands (e.g., Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire and St. Eustatius) reached renewable energy shares of over 10% in the total power mix.63 In Brazil, the cancellation of the renewable power auctions during the year, motivated in part by declining electricity demand and the recent economic downturn, created uncertainty in renewable technology markets, which affected manufacturers; however, substantial hydropower capacity was commissioned in 2016.64

Africa: Egypt, followed by Morocco, leads the region in installed renewable power capacity; both countries have significant hydropower capacity.65 In South Africa – which (together with Ethiopia) leads sub-Saharan Africa in total installed renewable power capacity – renewable energy reached 5% of total electricity generating capacity in 2016.66 South Africa and several countries in northern Africa (Algeria, Egypt and particularly Morocco) are becoming important markets for CSP as well as centres of industrial activity for solar PV modules and wind turbine components.67 Several countries, including Ghana, Senegal and Uganda, commissioned solar PV plants during the year, and Kenya was one of the few countries worldwide to bring additional geothermal capacity online.68 Several large hydropower projects also are under development on the continent.69

Oceania: In Australia, which leads the region in renewable electricity capacity, the majority of capacity is hydropower (59%) and wind power (32%), although solar PV capacity is growing quickly.70

Middle East: Capacities of solar PV, wind power and CSP are comparatively small, but a number of countries were building new wind power and solar PV projects and developing domestic manufacturing capacity during 2016. Projects exceeding 200 megawatts (MW) were either under construction or planned in Jordan, Oman, the State of Palestine and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).71 Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi and Dubai (UAE) all held solar PV tenders during the year.72

Globally, renewable electricity production in 2016 continued to be dominated by plants owned by utilities or large investors, and the scale of plants (solar PV, wind power and CSP) and of some generator equipment (such as wind turbines) continued to grow.73 Utilities in China, Denmark, Germany, India, Sweden and the United States continued to invest in large-scale renewable energy projects, especially in solar PV and wind power, and in some cases they also invested in renewable energy technology companies.74 Companies that traditionally have focused on fossil fuel extraction or nuclear power technology manufacturing also continued to move into renewable energy during the year.75

Major corporations and institutions around the world also made large commitments to purchase renewable electricity. In 2016, 34 businesses joined RE 100, a global initiative of businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity; new members included companies in China and India, as well as companies engaged in heavy industry. By year’s end, 87 companies worldwide were participating in the initiative.76 Most big companies that invest in renewable energy focus on wind energy (accounting for 54% of power purchased) and solar PV (21%), procuring the renewable electricity through renewable energy certificates (RECs) and, increasingly, through power purchase agreements (PPAs) or direct ownership.77 An increasing number of large corporations committed in 2016 to PPAs of unprecedented size, many of which are contracts directly with renewable energy generators rather than with utilities.78 The overall volume of PPAs in 2016, at 4.3 GW, was the second highest on record, although it was down 20% from 2015.79

The development of community renewable energyii projects continued in some countries in 2016.80 Canada saw its first community wind farm begin operation, and Chile, which implemented a dedicated policy for community energy in late 2015, registered 12 new communities to receive funds for renewable energy projects in 2016.81 However, growth in community energy projects is declining in several countries, particularly where policies are shifting from FITs towards tendering (as in parts of Europe, for example in Germany and the United Kingdom, but also in Japan).82 In the United Kingdom, following policy changes that reduced tax benefits and FIT rates, 44 community energy projects stalled, and the number of new projects that were initiated declined dramatically relative to 2015.83 In Japan, policy amendments that removed priority access for renewable energy meant that many community power projects no longer were able to connect to electric grids.84

Although community energy projects have focused historically on the production of power, they have begun to expand into energy retailing (supply), storage and demand-side management.85 This trend of diversifying community involvement, most prominent in OECD countries, is being met with varying degrees of success due largely to policy constraints.86

Many energy markets are changing to integrate larger shares of variable renewable energy – by becoming more flexible, managing shorter trading times and integrating demand response on both the supply and demand sides.87 New market participants – often small and medium-sized enterprises and decentralised independent energy producers – are playing an increasingly important role. Some existing participants (e.g., electric utilities) are developing new business models that focus on decentralised renewable energy rather than on centralised conventional fossil fuels or nuclear power; examples of energy companies undergoing such transitions include RWE and E.ON in Europe.88 In response to the conceptual shift away from centralised electricity generation, utilities have shown increased interest in virtual power plants: networks of decentralised renewable energy generation, energy-efficient buildings, and battery storage connected to and remotely controlled by software and data systems.89

Innovations in renewable energy retailing continued to emerge in 2016. For example, preliminary test runs of peer-to-peer trading models – in which a direct contract is made between the energy generator and the energy user – took place in New York City.90 Trading platforms for such peer-to-peer models also have emerged in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.91 In addition, a new model of pooling residential storage systems (which often are paired with distributed systems) to provide services to the grid was approved in Switzerland; similar models were implemented in Vermont (United States) and tested in Germany.92 Such systems allow prosumers to play an active role in balancing power for the first time.

Renewable energy hybrid projects – which combine two or more renewable power technologies – are being built or developed in several countries, including Australia, China, India, Morocco and the United States.93 Wind power-solar PV projects are becoming more common, in large part due to the natural synergies of the two resources: wind speeds often accelerate when solar irradiation drops.94

Several plans (some only in the early stages) to interconnect existing grids or to build “super-grids” were in place during 2016 (for example, in Africa, Asia and South America), many of which aim specifically to advance the integration of renewable energy.95 Substantial investments also were made in upgrading national grids – for example, expanding transmission lines to transport renewably generated power in India, Jordan and Chinaiii, which diverted significant investment in 2016 from renewable projects to grid improvements and to reforms in the power market to better utilise the country's existing renewable energy resources.96

For the more than 1 billion people worldwide without access to electricity (most of whom are in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia), renewable energy systems, especially those in rural areas far from the centralised grid, continued to offer important and often cost-effective options to provide such access.97 ( See Distributed Renewable Energy chapter.) The number of off-grid solar PV systems in particular has been increasing rapidly to this end.98 Multilateral and bilateral financing institutions continued to provide funding to further develop and deploy renewable energy projects (notably solar PV and mini-grid systems) in 2016.


In developing and developed countries, the use of electric mini-grids continued to expand, driven in part by desires to improve the reliability of power supply in the face of extreme weather and other disruptions, but also for reasons including energy access and preferences for renewable energy supply.99 Interconnections with regional/national grids and other mini-grids are increasing in some developed countries, particularly in the United States, which leads in global mini-grid capacity.100 In a rising number of developing countries, renewables-based mini-grids are playing an important role in meeting energy access goals.

iThe distinction of non-hydropower capacity is made because hydropower remains the largest single component by far of renewable power capacity and output, and thus can mask trends in other renewable energy technologies if always presented together.i

iiSee Glossary for definitions of this and other terms used in this report.ii

iiiIn January 2017, the Chinese government announced plans to spend USD 360 billion on renewable energy through 2020 to reinforce its position as the world leader in renewable energy investments. See endnote 96 for this chapter.iii

Heating and Cooling

Energy use for heat (water and space heating, cooking and industrial processes) accounted for more than one-half of total world final energy consumption in 2016.101 Energy demand for cooling is significantly lower, but it is increasing rapidly in many countries.


Renewable energy is used directly to meet heating and cooling demand by means of solar, geothermal or biomass (solid, liquid and gaseous) resources. Renewable electricity also can be used for heating and cooling. In 2016, renewable energy’s share of final energy use in the heat sector remained stable at around 25%; of this share, more than two-thirds was traditional biomass, used predominantly in the developing world.102

Modern renewable energyi supplied the remaining one-third, or approximately 9% of total global heat production.103 The use of modern renewable heat has increased at an average rate of 2.3% per year since 2007, accounting for a rising share of overall heat consumption.104 Industrial users consume most (56%) of the heat generated by modern renewable technologies, followed by commercial district heating systems, which consume another 5%.105 A significant amount also is used by households – for example, with modern biomass stoves and solar thermal heat systems.

Trends in the use of renewable energy for heating vary by technology, although the relative shares of the main renewable heat technologies have remained stable during the past few years. The use of traditional biomass has increased 9% since 2007, even as the share of traditional biomass in total global energy use has been declining.106

Focusing only on modern renewable energy, bioenergy accounts for almost 90% of renewable direct heat use, solar thermal represents around 8%, and geothermal accounts for 2%.107 While additional capacities of modern bio-heat and solar thermal were installed in 2016, growth in both markets has continued to slow. Geothermal direct use also continued a gradual expansion during the year. ( See Biomass Energy, Solar Thermal Heating and Cooling, and Geothermal Power and Heat sections in Market and Industry Trends chapter.)

Bioenergy accounts for around 7% of all industrial heat consumption.108 In 2016, the use of solar process heat continued to increase in the food and beverage industry as well as in the mining industries, all of which have substantial demand for low-temperature heat. Solar process heat expanded into other industries as well; for example, in Oman construction continued on a 1 GW solar thermal plant for advanced oil recovery.109

Biomass is the primary renewable energy source used for district heating.110 Increasingly, solar thermal is being incorporated into district heating systems at significant scales, with several large projects in some European countries. Denmark is in the lead and commissioned the world’s largest solar thermal plant (110 megawatts-thermal (MW( See Solar Thermal Heating and Cooling section in Market and Industry Trends chapter.) Several European countries have expanded their use of geothermal district heating plants in recent years; the region had more than 260 plants as of 2016.113

In countries where district heating is more mature – such as Denmark, Finland and Sweden – so-called fourth-generation systems have begun to move beyond conceptualisation and towards design and eventual implementation. These advanced systems are integrated with a mix of smart electric grids, large-scale heat pumps, natural gas and thermal grids, long-term infrastructure planning processes, and energy-efficient buildings, all with the aim of incorporating increased shares of renewable energy.114

Electricity accounts for only an estimated 1.5% of the total renewable heat production in buildings and industry, but electrification of heat received increasing attention in 2016.115 As FITs and net metering are phased out in many countries, there is growing interest in the potential to store electricity generated by small-scale renewable energy systems (especially solar PV) in batteries for self-consumption, or to use it to produce hot water.116 In addition, the use of heat pumps continues to rise, particularly in new, efficient single-family homes with a low heat load.117 ( See Heat Pumps section in Enabling Technologies chapter.)

Interest also is expanding in the use of district heating to provide flexibility to power systems, by converting renewable electricity into heat.118 Although still at a very limited scale, seasonal heat storage (both inter-seasonal and short-term storage) is being combined increasingly with the electric grid, using excess electricity for a power-to-heat process.119 Seasonal storage systems for heat generated by renewable energy-based district heating systems were used in a number of European countries in 2016.120


The number of hybrid systems for heat (combining multiple technologies) continued to increase in 2016.121 In such systems, solar thermal often is coupled with different technologies – depending on country-specific circumstances – to help ensure a secure supply of heat.122 For example, in Germany solar thermal systems are more likely to be combined with natural gas burners, whereas in China they are more likely to be combined with electric heat.123 Hybrid systems that rely exclusively on the use of renewable energy technologies (such as solar thermal coupled with biomass boilers) also are possible, although for cost reasons they are less common than systems paired with fossil fuels.124 In the United Kingdom, a demonstration hybrid district heating project that combines solar thermal, heat pumps and energy storage began supplying heat and hot water to homes in 2016.125

Space cooling accounts for about 2% of total world final energy consumption; most of the demand is met by means of electrical appliances.126 Rising demand for space cooling, especially in developing countries, has led to a dramatic increase in peak electricity demand in a number of countries.127 It also has helped to spur interest in solar cooling, particularly in sun-rich countries, and some notable projects began operation in 2016.128 In general, however, markets for renewable-based cooling technologies (non-electric) have not kept pace with the rising demand for cooling, due largely to the installation flexibility and cost-competitiveness of electricity-based cooling.129 Some field tests and demonstration projects of combined cooling systems with solar PV panels and heat pumps were in progress during 2016.130

There are important differences across regions in demand for heating and cooling as well as in the use of renewable energy to provide these services:

Asia: China, the world’s largest consumer of heat, supplies only around 1.8% of its demand with renewable heat.131Due in part to the slowing rates of residential construction, investment in solar thermal installations declined for the third consecutive year.132 At the same time, district heating has grown substantially, offering new opportunities for incorporating renewable heat.133 In India, around 10% of heat demand is met by modern renewables, mostly in the form of bioenergy (bagasse, rice husks, straw and cotton stalks) used in industry.134A number of solar thermal systems for process heat also were installed during the year in India, supported by international programmes of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UNIDO.135 Across China, India and the rest of developing Asia, around 50% of the population relies on traditional biomass for cooking.136

Europe: The EU continued to produce more heat from renewable energy than did any other region in 2016; most (about 61%) of this heat was consumed in buildings.137 An estimated 18.6% of the region’s total heating and cooling consumption is met by renewable sources, primarily solid biomass, up from 14.9% in 2010.138 In Germany, Europe’s largest consumer of heat, the share of renewables in heating and cooling (most of which is bioenergy) remained stable in 2016, although the country’s total generation of renewable heat increased 6%.139 In Sweden, which has the region’s highest share of renewables in its heating and cooling mix, biomass accounted for 60% of the heat provided to district heating systems.140 In Denmark, a majority of the heat supplied to district heating systems was generated from biomass and waste in 2016, although the country also has made significant strides in incorporating solar thermal into its district heating systems.141

North America: The region was the world’s second largest producer of renewable heat, with renewables meeting around 10% of heat demand.142 The US market for woody biomass and pellet boilers did not grow in 2016, due in part to low oil prices, but interest in wood chips for district heating or small commercial boilers continued to increase.143 Some electric utilities and some companies in the fossil fuel delivery industry (e.g., oil and propane suppliers) have begun to diversify their portfolios by launching programmes to lease air-source heat pumps for both heating and cooling purposes.144 In Canada, renewables provide around 22% of industrial heat demand, mostly using bioenergy residues from the pulp and paper industry.145

Latin America: Across Latin America, renewable energy supplies 35% of heat demand, nearly one-quarter of which is met with traditional biomass (concentrated mainly in Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru), with significant variations across countries.146 A few countries in the region rely heavily on renewable sources for industrial heat (largely solid biomass fuels such as bagasse and charcoal), including Paraguay (90% renewable), Uruguay (80%), Costa Rica (63%) and Brazil (54%).147 Solar thermal use in industry is growing rapidly in Mexico, where a total of 95 process heat plants had been installed by the end of 2016.148

Africa: Approximately 2.7 billion people in Africa, or 69% of the continent’s population, use traditional solid biomass for cooking.149 ( See Reference Table R11.) However, access to modern renewable heat is increasing in some countries. South Africa and Tunisia led the continent in newly installed solar thermal heat capacity in 2016.150 In South Africa, deployment of solar thermal systems for water heating has been driven by the need to reduce peak electricity demand in supply-constrained markets, whereas in Tunisia deployment has been driven by a desire to reduce fossil fuel imports.151 In Egypt, the country’s first demonstration solar thermal cooling plant was installed during the year.152

Middle East: In general, interest in solar thermal energy for both domestic water heating as well as commercial and industrial heat is on the rise across the region, with large projects under development in Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE in 2016.153 In the UAE, the 2012 solar thermal obligation in Dubai continued to have a positive effect on the solar thermal market.154 In Jordan, about 15% of all households are equipped with solar water heating systems.155

In 2016, continued improvements in the sector – including in the efficiency of industrial processes, building materials, and heating and cooling systems – facilitated increased use of renewable energy for heating and cooling. In general, however, deployment of renewable technologies in these markets is constrained by several factors, including limited awareness of the technologies, the distributed nature of consumption and fragmentation of the markets, comparatively low fossil fuel prices, ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and a comparative lack of policy support. In developing countries, despite significant potential for solar thermal heating and cooling, the lack of installation know-how remains an important barrier, particularly for industrial-scale heat.156

Nevertheless, throughout 2016 there was evidence in international policy of increasing awareness and political support for renewable heating and cooling technologies. A number of the NDCs delivered to the UNFCCC for COP22 specifically mentioned goals to expand the use of renewable heating technologies, and the European Commission’s proposal for a new Renewable Energy Directive to 2030, released in November 2016, includes a recommendation to increase the share of renewables in heating and cooling by 1% annually, while leaving specific implementation strategies to member states.157 For the first time in EU policy discussions, the strategy also specifically highlighted the importance of renewable energy for district heating and cooling.158

iModern renewable energy for heat includes modern bioenergy combustion ( see Biomass Energy section in Market and Industry Trends chapter), solar thermal generation and geothermal direct use, and in this case also heat provided by renewably generated electricity. i


Global energy demand in transport has increased by just under 2% annually on average since 2005; it accounts for about 28% of overall energy consumption and for 23% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.159 Oil products account for around 93% of final energy consumption in transport.160


There are three main entry points for renewable energy in the transport sector: the use of 100% liquid biofuels or of biofuels blended with conventional fuels; natural gas vehicles and infrastructure that can be fuelled with gaseous biofuels; and the electrification of transport, which can use batteries or hydrogen produced by renewable electricity.

Biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) represent the vast majority of the renewable share of global energy demand for transport. They provide around 4% of world road transport fuel.161 In 2016, global ethanol production remained stable relative to 2015, with decreases across Europe and in Brazil offset by increases in the United States, China and India.162 Global biodiesel production increased by around 9% compared with 2015, with substantial increases in the United States and Indonesia.163( See Biomass Energy section in Market and Industry Trends chapter.)

The technology for producing, purifying and upgrading biogas for use in transport is relatively mature, and vehicles and infrastructure based on natural gas are increasing slowly but steadily internationally.164 However, several barriers remain to broader biogas penetration in the transport sector, including the lack of regulations regarding access to natural gas grids, the lack of natural gas infrastructure, the decentralised nature of biogas feedstock and comparatively high economic costs.165 Most biogas production for transport purposes is concentrated in Europe and the United States.166

Electrification of the transport sector increased during the year, expanding the potential for greater integration of renewable energy in the form of electricity for trains, light rail, trams, and two- and four-wheeled electric vehicles (EVs). Further electrification of the transport sector has the potential to create a new market for renewable energy and to ease the integration of variable renewable energy using the possibility of storage offered by EVs. ( See Electric Vehicles section in Enabling Technologies chapter.)

Although direct links between renewable energy and EVs remain limited, as the share of renewables in grid power increases, so does the share of renewables in electrified transport. Some EV service providers, such as car sharing companies in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, have begun offering a provision for charging vehicles with renewable electricity.167 On a very limited scale, companies in several countries are developing prototypes that use solar PV directly, for example on passenger cars in China and Japan and a solar-powered bus in Uganda.168

Barriers to electrification in the transport sector continued to include relatively high EV purchase costs, perceived limits to range and battery life, and a lack of charging infrastructure.169 In most developing countries, additional barriers relate to the lack of a robust electricity supply, which reduces the attractiveness of using electricity for transport.170


Road transport accounts for 75% of transport energy use.171 Each region has a unique mix of renewable fuels, vehicle types and fuelling infrastructure. Regional trends in road transport during 2016 include:

North America: The United States continued to be the largest producer of biofuels, with use of these fuels supported by agricultural policy and by the federal renewable fuel standard.172 Production of both ethanol (at a similar pace as 2015) and biodiesel (reversing the decline witnessed in 2015) increased in 2016. The United States is one of the five largest producers of biogas for vehicle fuel worldwide (all others are in Europe).173 Renewable gas accounts for 20-35% of natural gas used in transport, and 37 new renewable natural gas projects ongoing in 2016 indicate growing interest.174 EV sales also increased (by 38%) in the United States during the year, and the country accounts for 28% of passenger EV sales in the global market.175 In Canada, ethanol production decreased, while biodiesel production increased, and EV sales were up 56% from 2015.176

Latin America: Brazil, the second largest producer of biofuels (after the United States), saw declines in both ethanol and biodiesel production in 2016, reversing the increase in 2015.177 Colombia and Peru also saw decreases in both ethanol and biodiesel production during the year.178 Countering this decline, production of both biofuels increased in Argentina, while in Mexico ethanol production increased from near zero in previous years to 20 million litres.179 The EV market in Latin America is still in its infancy but is seeing early developments, particularly in Costa Rica and Colombia.180 Argentina, Brazil and Colombia all have a developed natural gas infrastructure into which biogas could be incorporated, but this has not yet seen much if any deployment.181

Europe: Policy and public support for first-generation biofuels continued to wane due in part to sustainability concerns, but also because of the increasing interest in electric mobility; as a result, investment in new biofuels production capacity declined in 2016.182 Regional production of both ethanol and biodiesel was down, although increases occurred in some individual countries (such as for ethanol production in Hungary, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom).183 Countering the decline in biofuels, biomethane continued to gain share of the transport fuels mix, particularly in Sweden, which provided record shares (over 70%) of biomethane in its supply of compressed natural gas (CNG) for transport.184Europe is home to four of the world’s five largest producers of biogas for vehicle fuel: Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.185

Regional sales of EVs also increased (by 14%) in 2016.186 Europe accounts for 29% of global sales of passenger EVs; Norway leads the region in total sales, followed by the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France.187 In 2016, installation of what is reportedly the world’s first solar controlled, bi-directional charging station for EVs was completed in the Netherlands.188 ( See Electric Vehicles section in Enabling Technologies chapter.)

Asia: Growth in ethanol production in Asia continued to slow; China, India and Thailand led the region in production. Biodiesel production continued to rise, particularly in Indonesia where the significant increase in 2016 countered the decline in 2015. Both China and India have an established natural gas infrastructure into which biogas could be incorporated.189 Movement in this direction during the year included the start of operation of India’s first biomethane-fuelled bus, with more stations, buses and routes planned.190 EV sales increased in China, the largest market for passenger EVs worldwide.191 China also is the global leader in sales of electric two-wheelers. 192 Japan, which accounted for 8% of the global market for passenger EVs in 2016, saw sales decline (-12%) for the second year in a row.193

Africa: Production of fuel ethanol increased 11% (from comparatively low levels) in 2016, albeit well below the 30% growth in 2015.194 Some early EV sales have been seen in South Africa and Morocco.195 Biomethane road transport pilot projects also have been launched in South Africa in recent years.196

Aviation accounts for around 11% of the total energy used in transport.197 In October 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization announced a landmark agreement by 66 nations accounting for 86% of aviation activity to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in the sector; the first phase of the agreement is expected to begin in 2021.198 Alongside technical and operational improvements, the agreement will support the production and use of sustainable aviation fuels, specifically drop-in fuels produced from biomass and different types of waste.199 In aviation, biofuel use moved from a concept to business-as-usual for a few airlines in 2016.200 A number of significant agreements for provision of aviation biofuels were signed during the year, including a few worth over USD 1 billion.201 There also was ongoing development work on prototypes for short-range electric flights.202

Shipping consumes around 7% of the total energy used in transport.203 Ships can incorporate wind and solar energy directly, and for propulsion they can use biofuels or other renewable-based fuels (e.g., hydrogen).204 However, the integration of renewable energy into shipping continued to stagnate in 2016.205 Late in the year the International Maritime Organization agreed to a 0.5% sulphur cap by 2020, which will have implications for the burning of heavy fuel oil and therefore also may increase interest in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable fuels.206 Developments associated with gaseous fuels — including a new action plan in China and some deployment of LNG-fuelled ships (e.g., in Australia) – may offer opportunities for the incorporation of biogas.207 Active research and prototype development of wind energy-assist technologies also continued during the year.208

Rail accounts for around 2% of the total energy used in the transport sector; it can incorporate biofuels in fleets fuelled by oil products (around 57% of the total) and renewable power in fleets powered by electricity (around 36% of the total).209 The renewable electricity share in the total energy mix of the world’s railways increased from 3.4% in 1990 to around 9% in 2013, with some countries reaching much higher penetrations by 2016.210 As of early 2017, for example, all electric trains in the Netherlands were powered 100% by wind power, one year ahead of schedule.211

A few railways implemented new projects in 2016 to generate their own electricity from renewables (e.g., wind turbines on railway land and solar panels on railway stations), notably in India and Morocco.212 Also in 2016, Chile announced that new construction of solar PV and wind farms will help power the Santiago subway.213 Ongoing tests of smart energy management in both intercity and urban trains (such as onboard energy management and dynamic response) also occurred during the year to help manage and store variable renewable energy.214

Motivated in part by the need to manage local air pollution, some countries (for example, Germany, India, the Netherlands and Norway) began discussing for the first time a phase-out of internal combustion engines, a step that would have implications for both biofuels and renewable electricity in transport.215


Following the historic climate agreement in Paris in December 2015, the international community focused increased attention on decarbonisation of the transport sector, although only 22 of the NDCs submitted refer specifically to renewable energy in the transport sector, and only two (Niue and New Zealand) link EVs to renewable energy.216 During 2016, some governments, mostly in Europe, began looking at medium- to long-term strategies to decarbonise the sector, often involving long-term structural changes; many also considered or developed strategies to more closely link the transport and electricity sectors.217 For example, Germany’s climate action plan, developed in 2016, aims to reduce emissions in the sector 40-42% by 2030, with a longer-term objective to fully decarbonise the sector.218 However, much of the focus of international decarbonisation discussions was on the electrification of transport, with very little attention focused on ensuring a renewable electricity supply.219

Table 1. Estimated Direct and Indirect Jobs in Renewable Energy, by Country and Technology




United States




European Unioni



Rest of EU

Solar PV











Liquid biofuels










Wind power











Solar heating/ cooling










Solid biomassag

















Hydropower (small-scale)b










Geothermal energy a
























Hydropower (large-scale)b










Total (including large-scale hydropower)











Figure 6. Jobs in Renewable Energy





  1. Data for 2010-2014 from International Energy Agency (IEA), World Energy Outlook 2016 (Paris: 2016),
  2. Ibid.2
  3. Estimate for 2016 from Corinne Le Quere et al., “Global Carbon Project 2016”, Earth System Science Data, vol. 8 (2016), pp. 605-49,; estimate for the past decade from Ottmar Edenhofer et al., “Summary for Policy Makers”, in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change (New York and Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015), p. 7,
  4. Scott Waldman, “Global carbon emissions have now been flat for 3 years”, E&E News, 14 November 2016,; IEA, “IEA finds CO2 emissions flat for third straight year even as global economy grew in 2016”, 17 March 2017,
  5. Enerdata, “Global Energy Statistical Yearbook 2016 – Coal and Lignite Production”,, viewed 21 March 2017; Babs McHugh, “Japanese government planning to build 45 new coal fired power stations to diversify”, ABC News, updated 31 January 2017,
  6. The Netherlands’ commitment to reducing emissions 55% by 2030 may require closure of some of the country’s remaining five coal-fired power stations, from Arthur Neslen, “Dutch parliament votes to close down country’s coal industry”, The Guardian (UK), 23 September 2016,; Canada has committed to eliminating coal use in the power sector by 2030, from “Canada set to phase out coal-fired power by 2030”, The Independent (UK), 21 November 2016,; Finland aims to phase out coal by 2030, from Alexandra Sims, “Finland plans to completely phase out coal by 2030”, The Independent (UK), 25 November 2016,; France has pledged to shut down all coal-fired power plants by 2023, from Charlotte England, “France to shut down all coal-fired power plants by 2023”, The Independent (UK), 19 November 2016,; Cassandra Profita, “Oregon utilities agree to phase out coal-fired power”, Oregon Public Broadcasting, 6 January 2016,; Marcelo Teixeira, “Brazil development bank scraps financing for coal-fired plants”, Reuters, 3 October 2016,
  7. McHugh, op. cit. note 5.7
  8. Oil prices and impact on renewable energy from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2016 (Paris: 2016),; BP, “Natural gas prices”,, viewed 3 May 2017.8
  9. Methodologies for quantifying total subsidies around the world vary, with the IEA (op. cit. note 1) estimating fossil fuel subsidies at USD 325 billion in 2015, whereas the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which seeks to include the cost of externalities in addition to direct payments, valued the combined subsidies for coal (USD 3.1 trillion), petroleum (USD 1.5 trillion), natural gas (USD 510 billion) and electricity rate subsidies for consumers (USD 148 billion) at an estimated USD 5.3 trillion in 2015; see David Coady et al., How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies? (Washington, DC: IMF, 2015), By comparison, the IEA estimates renewable energy subsidies at USD 150 billion, from IEA, op. cit. note 1. Impacts on renewable energy from Richard Bridle and Lucy Kitson, The Impact of Fossil-Fuel Subsidies on Renewable Electricity Generation (Winnipeg, Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), December 2014),
  10. Ivetta Gerasimchuk, Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform: Critical Mass for Critical Change (Austin: University of Texas at Austin, 2015),
  11. IISD, Global Subsidies Initiative, “Tracking Progress: International Cooperation to Reform Fossil-Fuel Subsidies”,, viewed 25 February 2017.11
  12. Data in text and Figure 1 from estimated shares based on the following sources: total 2015 final energy consumption (estimated at 363.5 EJ) is based on 359.9 EJ for 2014 from International Energy Agency (IEA), World Energy Statistics and Balances, 2016 edition (Paris: OECD/IEA, 2016) and escalated by the 0.97% increase in global primary energy demand from 2014 to 2015, derived from BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 (London: 2016), For bioenergy inputs, see Biomass Energy section and related endnotes in the Market and Industry Trends chapter. Solar PV generation of 285 TWh from IEA Photovoltaic Power System Programme (IEA PVPS), Trends in Photovoltaic Applications 2016, Survey Report of Selected IEA Countries between 1992 and 2015 (Paris: 2016), Table 10, p. 65, Concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) estimated at 9.8 TWh, based on the reported output of Spain and the United States (8,385 GWh) and by applying their average capacity factor to remaining global CSP capacity of 667 MW. Spain’s capacity based on data in CSP section of Market and Industry Trends chapter and related endnotes, and generation in 2015 from RED Eléctrica de España (REE), Statistical series of the Spanish electricity system,; US CSP capacity based on data from US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly with Data for December 2016 (Washington, DC: February 2017), Table 6.2.B. Net Summer Capacity Using Primarily Renewable Energy Sources and by State,; and US generation from EIA, op. cit. this note, Table 1.1.A. Net Generation from Renewable Sources: Total (All Sectors). Ocean energy of 1 TWh, from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2016, (Paris: OECD/IEA, 2016), p. 174. Geothermal electricity generation of 78 TWh based on year-end capacity and global average capacity factor in 2014 from Ruggero Bertani, “Geothermal Power Generation in the World 2010-2014 Update Report,” Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2015 (Melbourne, Australia: 19–25 April 2015). Hydropower of 3,946 TWh from BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 (London: 2016). Solar thermal heating/cooling estimated at 1.28 EJ, from Monika Spörk-Dür, AEE-Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC), Gleisdorf, Austria, personal communications with Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), April 2017; Werner Weiss, Monika Spörk-Dür and Franz Mauthner, Solar Heat Worldwide – Markets and Contribution to the Energy Supply 2015 (Gleisdorf, Austria: International Energy Agency (IEA) Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC), forthcoming 2017), Geothermal heat (excluding heat pumps) was estimated at 0.28 EJ, based on an extrapolation of 2014 values from John W. Lund and Tonya L. Boyd, “Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy: 2015 Worldwide Review,” in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2015 (Melbourne, Australia: 19–25 April 2015). Nuclear power final consumption based on generation of 2,577 TW, from BP, op. cit. this note (converted by source from primary energy on the basis of thermal equivalence, assuming 38% conversion efficiency), and global average electricity losses in 2014 from IEA, World Energy Statistics and Balances, 2016 edition (Paris: OECD/IEA, 2016). Methodology for Figure 1 differs from previous years in the application of estimated average system losses and estimates of the energy industry’s own use of electricity from renewable sources. Previous versions of Figure 1 have discounted such losses but this version assumes an average combined reduction of 7% when establishing renewable electricity consumption relative to gross generation estimates. This adjustment reduces the estimated contribution of renewable electricity in total final energy consumption.12
  13. Figure 2 from all values derived from International Energy Agency (IEA), World Energy Statistics and Balances, 2016 edition (Paris: OECD/IEA, 2016). Consumption of traditional biomass based on the combined values for solid biomass and charcoal consumption in the residential sector of non-OECD countries. Consumption of renewable electricity is based on the share of renewables in global gross electricity generation. This results in the assumption that renewable electricity consumption is more than 16% lower than gross renewable electricity generation, due to system losses and the energy industry’s own use. Industry own use includes the difference between gross and net generation at thermal power plants (the difference lies in the power consumption of various internal loads, such as fans, pumps and pollution controls at thermal plants), and other uses such as electricity use in coal mining and fossil fuel refining. This differs from the methodology applied in Figure 1, where system losses and energy industry’s own use of renewable electricity is assumed to amount of 7% of gross renewable generation. Consumption of produced heat from renewable sources (from heat plants) is based on the renewable share of heat production in heat plants.
  14. IEA, op. cit. note 8.14
  15. 15 “China to slow green growth for first time after record boom”, Bloomberg, 23 September 2016,
  16. 25x’25, “U.S. continues to lead global Renewable Energy Attractiveness Index”, Weekly REsource, 27 May 2016,
  17. Zuzana Dubrotkova and Gevorg Sargsyan, World Bank, Washington, DC, personal communication with Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), 8 December 2016.17
  18. Energy Institute, Energy Barometer 2016 (London: 2016),; Lada Kochtcheeva, “Renewable Energy: Global Challenges”, E-International Relations, 27 May 2016,
  19. REN21 Policy Database.19
  20. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), “The Paris Agreement”,, viewed 11 March 2017.20
  21. Heymi Bahar, IEA, Paris, personal communication with REN21, 28 November 2016.21
  22. Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, European Renewable Energies Federation, Berlin, personal communication with REN21, 1 December 2016.22
  23. The Climate Vulnerable Forum comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Palau, the State of Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Senegal, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Yemen. It is an international partnership of countries highly vulnerable to global climate change. Climate Vulnerable Forum, “The Climate Vulnerable Forum Vision”,, viewed 20 December 2016; Saleemul Huq, “Vulnerable countries take the lead in commitments”, Daily Star, 30 November 2016,
  24. World Trade Organization (WTO), “Progress made on Environmental Goods Agreement, setting stage for further talks”, 4 December 2016,; “Key lawmaker, EU and industry all blame China for torpedoing EGA deal”, Daily News, 7 December 2016,
  25. Figure 3 based on the following: World Bank, State and Trends of Carbon Pricing (Washington, DC: October 2016), p. 12,; European Commission, The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) (Brussels: 2016), p. 1,; International Carbon Action Partnership, Emissions Trading Worldwide (Berlin: 2016), pp. 22-23,; Government of Canada "Pan-Canadian Approach to Pricing Carbon Pollution", 3 October 2016,; Colombia from Juan Camilo Gómez Trillos, University of Oldenberg, personal communication with REN21, 3 May 2017.
  26. IPCC, Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation: Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012), The current low carbon price under the European Emissions Trading Scheme has led many industry and government officials to suggest that the scheme has done little to incentivise the deployment of renewable technologies, from Robert Hodgson, “The price is right? Crunch time for EU carbon market reform”, EurActiv, 13 February 2017, At the same time, markets for some renewable heating and cooling technologies have grown following the implementation of well-designed carbon pricing mechanisms; for example, bioenergy heat grew substantially in Sweden after significantly high taxes were introduced, first on fossil fuels in the 1970s and then on carbon in the early 1990s, from Bengt Johansson et al., The Use of Biomass for Energy in Sweden – Critical Factors and Lessons Learned (Lund, Sweden: Lund University Department of Technology and Society, August 2002)
  27. International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2017 (Abu Dhabi: 2017). Sidebar 1 from idem.27
  28. See sources in Market and Industry Trends chapter.28
  29. Dubrotkova and Sargsyan, op. cit. note 17.29
  30. See Market and Industry Trends chapter, Reference Table R1 and related endnotes for details.30
  31. Ibid.31
  32. Based on renewable power capacity data provided in this report; on capacity additions for fossil fuels from Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017 (Frankfurt: April 2017), pp. 32-33,; and on nuclear power capacity data from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), PRIS Database, “Nuclear Power Capacity Trends”,, updated 5 May 2017. Note that “some 87 GW” of coal-fired power capacity was added in 2016, but 33 GW was decommissioned, from Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. this note, p. 33.32
  33. See Market and Industry Trends chapter, Reference Table R1 and related endnotes for details.33
  34. See, for example, past editions of this report and Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 32, p. 33.34
  35. Share of net additions from an estimate of 61.9%, based on a total of approximately 161.1 GW of renewable capacity added (net), as noted in this report, and on assumed net additions of 99.3 GW nuclear and fossil fuel capacity, for a total of 260.43 GW of global net additions, of which renewables account for 61.9%. Nuclear and fossil fuel estimate based on the following: net capacity additions of 54 GW of coal and 37 GW of natural gas, from Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 32, p. 33. Gross capacity additions of coal were “some 87 GW”, from idem. Note that per BNEF, there also were net reductions in oil-fired generating capacity (totalling 9 GW) that are not included in these calculations, from Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 32, p. 33. Net nuclear capacity increase of 8.33 GW based on year-end 2015 and year-end 2016 cumulative operational capacity, from IAEA, op. cit. note 32. See Reference Table R1, technology sections in Market and Industry Trends chapter and related endnotes for more detail on renewable power generating capacity. Note that some hydropower capacity added may have been for refurbishment of existing plants; however, even omitting half of hydro capacity as net (replacement), the renewable energy share is approximately 60%. 35
  36. Renewable share of total global electric generating capacity is based on an estimated renewable total approaching 2,017 GW at end-2016 (see Reference Table R1 and related endnote for details and sources) and on total global electric capacity in the range of 6,660.5 GW. Estimated total global capacity for end-2016 is based on 2015 total of 6,400 GW, from IEA, op. cit. note 1, p. 258; on nearly 260.5 GW of net power capacity additions in 2016, as outlined in endnote 35. Share of generation based on the following: Total global electricity generation in 2016 is estimated at 24,756 TWh, based on 24,098 TWh in 2015 from BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 (London: 2016), and an estimated 2.73% growth in global electricity generation for 2016. The growth rate is based on the weighted average actual change in total generation for the following countries (which together account for nearly two-thirds of global generation in 2015): United States (+0.03% net generation), EU-28 (+0.31%), Russian Federation (+2.1%), India (+6.49%), China (+5.6%) and Brazil (+1.33%). Sources for 2015 and 2016 total electricity generation by country are: US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly with Data for December 2016 (Washington, DC: February 2017), Table 1.1; European Commission, Eurostat database,; System Operator of the Unified Energy System of Russia, Report on the Unified Energy System in 2016 (Moscow: 31 January 2017),; Government of India, Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), “Monthly Generation Report,”; National Bureau of Statistics of China, “Statistical communiqué of the People’s Republic of China on the 2016 national economic and social development”, press release (Beijing: 28 February 2017),; National Electrical System Operator of Brazil (ONS), "Geração de Energia", Hydropower generation in 2016 of 4,102 TWh from IHA, 2017 Key Trends in Hydropower, op. cit. note 1. CSP estimated at 10.09 TWh, based on the reported output of Spain and the United States (totalling 8,460 GWh) and by applying their average capacity factor to remaining global CSP capacity of 777 MW. Spain’s capacity based on data in CSP section of Market and Industry Trends chapter and related endnotes, and generation in 2016 from REE, "Statistical series of the Spanish electricity system",; US capacity from CSP section in Market and Industry Trends chapter and related endnotes, and from EIA, Electric Power Monthly (Washington, DC: February 2017), Table 6.2.B.,; and US CSP generation from idem, Table 1.1.A. Sources for other renewable generation in 2016 are detailed by technology in the Market and Industry Trends chapter. Figure 4 based on idem.36
  37. Rankings were determined by gathering data for over 70 countries based on the world’s top countries for cumulative capacity of hydro, wind, solar PV, CSP, biomass, geothermal and ocean power. See Market and Industry Trends chapter and related endnotes for more detailed information. Country data from the following sources: China: Hydropower based on data from China National Energy Administration (CNEA), summary of national electric industry statistics for 2016,; capacity additions in 2016, including pumped storage, from China Electricity Council, annual report on national power system, 25 January 2017,; capacity, including pumped storage, at year-end 2015 from CNEA, 13th Five-Year-Plan for Hydro Power Development (Beijing: 29 November 2016), Wind power from Shi Pengfei, Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA), personal communication with REN21, 21 March 2017, and from Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), Global Wind Report – Annual Market Update 2016 (Brussels: April 2017), Solar PV from Dazhong Xiao, “2016 photovoltaic power generation statistics”, National Energy Board, 4 February 2017, (using Google Translate), and from IEA Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (PVPS), Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets 2016 (Paris: April 2017), p. 15, Bio-power from IEA, op. cit. note 8, and from IRENA, Renewable Capacity Statistics 2017 (Abu Dhabi: 2017), Geothermal power from CNEA, 13th Five-Year-Plan for Geothermal Power (Beijing: 6 February 2017),, provided by Frank Haugwitz, Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Company, Ltd (AECEA), personal communication with REN21, February 2017. CSP from US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), “Concentrating solar power projects in China”,, updated 17 April 2017, and from CSP Today, “Projects Tracker”,, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 27 March 2017; see CSP section in Market and Industry Trends chapter for more details. Ocean power from Ocean Energy Systems (OES), Annual Report 2015 (Lisbon: April, 2016),, and from IRENA, op. cit. this note. United States: Hydropower from US EIA, op. cit. note 36, Tables 6.2.B and 6.3; wind power from American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year Ending 2016 (Washington, DC: April 2017); solar PV from GTM Research, personal communication with REN21, 2 May 2017; biopower from US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Office of Energy Projects Energy Infrastructure, “Update for December 2016”,; geothermal from US Geothermal Energy Agency (GEA), unpublished database, provided by Benjamin Matek, GEA, personal communication with REN21, 11 May 2016, and from EIA, op. cit. note 36, Table 6.2.B; CSP from NREL, “Concentrating solar power projects in the United States”,, updated 14 April 2017, and from CSP Today, op. cit. this note, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 27 March 2017; ocean power from OES, op. cit. this note, and from IRENA, op. cit. this note. Brazil: Hydropower based on data from National Agency for Electrical Energy (ANEEL), “Resumo geral dos novos empreendimentos de geração”,, updated March 2017; wind power from Associação Brasileira de Energia Eólica (ABEEólica), “Dados Mensais”, January 2017,, pp. 4, 6; solar PV from Ministério de Minas e Energia, Brasil, Boletim Mensal de Monitoramento do Sistema Elétrico Brasileiro, Dezembro 2016, provided by Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho, Inter-American Development Bank, personal communication with REN21, 5 May 2017; bio-power from Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE), Brazilian Energy Balance 2016 (Rio de Janeiro: 2016), and from Ministério de Minas e Energia (MME), Anuário Estatistico 2016 (Rio de Janeiro: EPE, 2016). Germany: Hydropower, wind power, solar PV, bio-power and geothermal power all from German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung der erneuerbaren Energien in Deutschland, unter Verwendung von Daten der Arbeitsgruppe Erneuerbare Energien-Statistik (AGEEStat) (Stand: Februar 2017), p. 7,; CSP from NREL, “Concentrating solar power projects in Germany”,, updated 12 February 2013, and from CSP Today, op. cit. this note, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 27 March 2017. Canada: Hydropower based on data from Statistics Canada, Table 127-0009, “Installed generating capacity, by class of electricity producer”,, from IHA, 2016 Key Trends in Hydropower, op. cit. note 1, IHA, personal communication, op. cit. note 1, and no evidence of capacity completed during 2016; wind power from Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), “Installed capacity”,, viewed 17 February 2017; solar PV from IEA PVPS, op. cit. this note; bio-power from IEA, op. cit. note 8; CSP (pilot only) from NREL, “City of Medicine Hat ISCC Project”,, updated 3 August 2015, and from CSP Today, op. cit. this note, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 27 March 2017; ocean power from OES, op. cit. this note, and from IRENA, op. cit. this note.37
  38. China share and capacity data based on statistics and references provided elsewhere in this section, including endnote 37. See also Market and Industry Trends chapter and Reference Table R2.38
  39. Rankings for top countries for non-hydropower capacity based on data provided in endnote 37, and on the following: Japan: Hydropower based on data for 2015 from Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), Renewables 2016 Japan Status Report (Tokyo: 2016),, and preliminary estimates for 2016 additions, provided by Hironao Matsubara, ISEP, personal communication with REN21, 13 April 2017; wind power from GWEC, op. cit. note 37; solar PV from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 37, and from Gaëtan Masson, Becquerel Institute and IEA PVPS, personal communications with REN21, March-May 2016; bio-power from Japan Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI), provided by Matsubara, op. cit. this note; geothermal power from ISEP, op. cit. this note. India: Hydropower based on data from Government of India, Ministry of Power, CEA, “All India installed capacity (in MW) of power stations”, December 2016,, from Government of India, CEA, “Executive summary of the power sector (monthly)”,, and from Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), “Physical progress (achievements)”,, viewed 19 January 2017; wind power from Government of India, Ministry of Power, CEA, “All India Installed Capacity, Monthly Report January 2017” (New Delhi: 2017), Table: “All India Installed Capacity (in MW) of Power Stations (As on 31.01.2017) (Utilities)”,, and from GWEC, op. cit. note 37; solar PV based on data from Government of India, MNRE, op. cit. this note, and from MNRE, “”Physical progress (achievements)”, data as on 31 December 2015, viewed 1 February 2016; bio-power from MNRE, idem, and accounting for national CSP capacity at end-2016; CSP from NREL, “Concentrating solar power projects in India”,, updated 27 July 2015, from CSP Today, op. cit. note 37, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 27 March 2017, and from Heba Hashem, “India’s PV-led solar growth casts eyes on performance of CSP projects”, CSP Today, 9 November 2015, Italy: Hydropower from Gestore dei Servizi Energetici GSE S.p.A (GSE), Rapporto Statistico, Energia da fonti rinnovabili in Italia, Anno 2015 (Rome: March 2017),; wind power from WindEurope, Wind in Power 2016 European Statistics (Brussels: 9 February 2017),; solar PV from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 37; bio-power from GSE, provided by Luca Benedetti, GSE, Rome, personal communication with REN21, 3 May 2017; geothermal power from GSE, Rapporto Statistico, Energia da fonti rinnovabili in Italia, Anno 2015, op. cit. this note; CSP (all pilots) from NREL, “Concentrating solar power projects in Italy”,, updated 16 February 2015, and from CSP Today, op. cit. note 37, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 27 March 2017; ocean power from IRENA, op. cit. note 37. Spain: Hydropower from Red Eléctrica de España (REE), “Potential instalada nacional (MW)”,, viewed 18 April 2017; wind power from WindEurope, op. cit. this note, and from REE, op. cit. this note; solar PV from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 37; bio-power from IEA, op. cit. note 8; ocean power from IRENA, op. cit. note 37. United Kingdom: Hydropower from UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, National Statistics, Energy Trends Section 6: Renewables, Table 6.1 “Renewable electricity capacity and generation”, updated 30 March 2017, p. 69,; wind power from WindEurope, op. cit. this note; solar PV from UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, “Solar Photovoltaics Deployment in the UK February 2017”, updated 30 March 2017,; bio-power from UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, National Statistics, Energy Trends section 6: Renewables, op. cit. this note; ocean power from IRENA, op. cit. note 37. Figure 5 based on sources in this note and in endnote 37, and on global data available throughout this report, including Reference Tables R1 (and associated endnote) and R2, as well as on data for the following: European Union (EU-28): Hydropower from European Commission, Eurostat, Energy Database,, viewed May 2017; wind power from WindEurope, op. cit. this note; solar PV from Gaëtan Masson, IEA PVPS and Becquerel Institute, personal communication with REN21, 8 May 2017; bio-power from IEA, op. cit. note 8; geothermal from Eurostat, op. cit. this note; CSP from Luis Crespo, European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA), Brussels, personal communication with REN21, 21 February 2016, REE, op. cit. this note, from NREL, “Concentrating solar power projects”,, and from CSP Today, “Global Tracker”,, continuously updated and viewed on numerous occasions leading up to 27 March 2017; ocean power from IRENA, op. cit. note 37. Russian Federation: Hydropower from System Operator of the Unified Energy System of Russia, op. cit. note 36; wind power from WindEurope, op. cit. this note; solar PV from IRENA, op. cit. note 37; bio-power from IEA, op. cit. note 8; geothermal based on data from GEA, op. cit. this note; ocean power from IRENA, op. cit. note 37. South Africa: Hydropower from Hydro4Africa, “African Hydropower Database – South Africa”,, viewed May 2017; wind power from GWEC, op. cit. note 37; solar PV from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 37; bio-power from IEA, op. cit. note 8; CSP from CSP Today, op. cit. note 37, and from NREL, “Concentrating solar power projects by project name”,, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 27 March 2017.39
  40. Based on population data for 2015 from World Bank, “World Development Indicators – Population, Total”, 2017,, updated 23 March 2017, on data gathered from various sources for more than 70 countries, and on data and references provided elsewhere in this chapter, in Market and Industry Trends chapter and from the following: Iceland: Wind power from WindEurope, op. cit. note 39; solar PV from IRENA, op. cit. note 37; geothermal power from IEA Geothermal Implementing Agreement, Annual Report 2015 (Paris: February 2017), Denmark: Wind power from WindEurope, op. cit. note 39; solar PV from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 37; biopower based on IEA, op. cit. note 8, and on IRENA, op. cit. note 37. Sweden: Wind power from WindEurope, op. cit. note 39; solar PV from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 37, p. 4; bio-power from IEA, op. cit. note 8; ocean power from OES, op. cit. note 37, and from IRENA, op. cit. note 37.40
  41. For wind power shares: Denmark from, cited in David Weston, “Danish wind share falls in 2016”, Windpower Monthly, 13 January 2017,; Ireland and Cyprus from WindEurope, op. cit. note 39, p. 21; Portugal from João Gomes, Associação Portuguesa de Energias Renováveis, personal communication with REN21, April 2017; Costa Rica from Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, Generación y Demanda Informe Annual Centro Nacional de Control de Energía, 2016 (San José: March 2017), p. 4,; see Wind Power section in Market and Industry Trends chapter for more details. Solar PV shares: Honduras from Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica (ENEE), Boletín Estadistíco Diciembre 2016 (Tegucigalpa: undated), p. 5,; Italy from Terna, Rapporto mensile sul Sistema Elettrico (Rome: December 2016), p. 13,; Greece from Greek Operator for Electricity Market, Independent Power Transmission Operator, provided by Ioannis Tsipouridis, R.E.D. Pro Consultants S.A., Athens, personal communication with REN21, 21 April 2017; Germany from BMWi, op. cit. note 37, pp. 41-42.41
  42. Max Dupuy and Ranjit Bharvirkar “Renewables in China and India: how two Asian giants struggle with inflexible power system operations”, Utility Dive, 26 April 2016,
  43. Arthur Neslen, “Wind power generates 140% of Denmark’s electricity demand”, The Guardian (UK), 10 July 2015,; “Scotland’s wind turbines cover all its electricity needs to one day”, The Guardian (UK), 11 August 2016,
  44. Decreasing price as driver from Dubrotkova and Sargsyan, op. cit. note 17.44
  45. Lazard, “Levelized cost of energy analysis – Version 10.0”, December 2016,
  46. GWEC, Global Wind Report 2016 – Annual Market Update (Brussels: April 2017),, p. 21.46
  47. Dubrotkova and Sargsyan, op. cit. note 17.47
  48. See Policy Landscape chapter and associated references.48
  49. See sources in Market and Industry Trends chapter. See also Dupuy and Bharvirkar, op. cit. note 42, and Ryan Woo, “China’s solar power capacity more than doubles in 2016”, Reuters, 4 February 2017,
  50. Xiao, op. cit. note 37.50
  51. Curtailment values for 2015 from Dupuy and Bharvirkar, op. cit. note 42.51
  52. IEA, op. cit. note 8.52
  53. Kaavya Chandrasekaran, “Capacity for renewable energy in India hits 42,850 MW; surpasses capacity of hydro projects”, Economic Times, 10 June 2016,; bio-power generation from Government of India, MNRE “Physical progress (achievements) for 2015 and 2016”,, viewed 19 January 2017.53
  54. For more information and references, see Geothermal Power and Heat text and related endnotes in Market and Industry Trends chapter.54
  55. WindEurope, op. cit. note 39, p. 6.55
  56. Tenders are envisioned to be on a technology-neutral basis and open to bids from neighbouring countries, from Hinrichs-Rahlwes, op. cit. note 22.56
  57. EIA, Electric Power Monthly, February 2017, Tables 1.1 and 1.1A,
  58. EIA, Electric Power Monthly, “Net Generation from Renewable Sources: 2007-January 2017”, January 2017,
  59. EIA, Electric Power Monthly, “Electric Generating Summer Capacity Changes (MW)”, January 2017,
  60. Tatiana Schlossberg, “America’s first offshore wind farm spins to life”, New York Times, 14 December 2016,
  61. Generation values are for 2015. Canada National Energy Board, Canada’s Renewable Power Landscape (Ottawa: October 2016), p. 8,; CanWEA, “Wind energy in Canada”,, viewed 26 March 2017.61
  62. Honduras from ENEE, op. cit. note 41, p. 5; Uruguay Secretary of Energy, Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, Balance Energético Preliminar 2016 (Montevideo: 2017),
  63. Diego Acevedo, Bluerise BV, Delft, the Netherlands, personal communication with REN21, 5 May 2017.63
  64. See sources in Market and Industry Trends chapter. See also Brian Gaylord, “Brazilian auction cancellation is understandable yet inadvisable”, MAKE,, viewed 31 March 2017.64
  65. IRENA, Renewable Energy in the Arab Region: Overview of Developments (Abu Dhabi: 2016), p. 9,
  66. Leaders in Africa from IRENA, op. cit. note 37, p. 12; share of capacity from GreenCape, Utility-scale Renewable Energy – 2017 Market Intelligence Report (Cape Town: 2017), p. 12,
  67. See sources in Solar PV and Wind Power sections in Market and Industry Trends chapter. CSP from CSP Today, “Projects Tracker”, op. cit. note 37.67
  68. For more information and sources, see Solar PV and Geothermal Power and Heat sections in Market and Industry Trends chapter.68
  69. See, for example, Rusumo Project, “Groundbreaking ceremony of Rusumo Dam construction”, 21 March 2017,, and Michael Harris, “AfDB announces financing for 147 MW Ruzizi 3 hydropower plant”, HydroWorld, 22 March 2016,
  70. Clean Energy Council, Progress and Status of the Renewable Energy Target (Melbourne: June 2016), p. 6, See also sources in Solar PV section in Market and Industry Trends chapter.70
  71. See text and sources in Market and Industry Trends chapter, and IRENA, op. cit. note 65, p. 12.71
  72. See Solar PV text and sources in Market and Industry Trends chapter.72
  73. See sources in Solar PV, Wind and CSP sections in Market and Industry Trends chapter.73
  74. United States from Peter Kelly-Detwiler, “The morphing role of the electric utility: investors in the change to come”, Forbes, 28 July 2016,; Germany from Sam Pothecary, “RWE to acquire PV and storage specialist Belectric Solar & Battery”, PV Magazine, 29 August 2016,; Liam Stoker, “Innogy completes purchase of Belectric Solar & Battery”, PV-Tech, 4 January 2017,; China from Frank Haugwitz, AECEA, personal communication with REN21, 3 May 2017; Susan Kraemer, “$100 billion now building Indian clean energy”, Renewable Energy World, 2 August 2016,; Sweden and Denmark from Susan Kraemer, “Scandanavian offshore wind nixed due to Russian threat”, Renewable Energy World, 26 January 2017, 74
  75. Fossil fuel companies from Mikael Holter, “Statoil buys half of $1.4 billion EON German wind project”, Renewable Energy World, 25 April 2016,, from William Steel, “Wärtsilä diversifies into solar PV”, Renewable Energy World, 3 May 2016,, and from “Oil giants ENI, Sonatrach to develop solar in Algeria”, PV Insider, 27 September 2016,; nuclear power from Barry O’Halloran, “Gaelectric sells wind farms to China General Nuclear Power”, Irish Times, 7 December 2016,; Rosatom from FTI Consulting, Global Wind Market Update – Demand & Supply 2016 Part Two – Demand Side Analysis (London: 2016), p. 18.75
  76. RE 100, Accelerating Change: How Corporate Users Are Transforming the Renewable Energy Market, RE 100 Annual Report 2017 (London: The Climate Group, 2017), p. 3,
  77. David Ferris, “Big business likes wind power, study finds”, E&E News, 19 October 2016,; Elaine Hsieh, “Corporate clean energy deals are a bigger priority than ever”, GreenBiz, 27 February 2017,
  78. DLA Piper, 2016: The Year of PPAs and the Corporate Green Agenda, 2016, p. 6, For example, Microsoft, building on previous agreements to purchase wind energy, announced its largest purchase to date in 2016 for 237 MW of wind energy from new wind farms in the US states of Kansas and Wyoming, from Microsoft, “Microsoft announces largest wind energy purchase to date”, press release (Redmond, WA: 14 November 2016),; Google progressed on its 2015 commitment to 100% renewable power by means of direct purchase from developers and from partnerships with utilities – the company is now committed to 2.6 GW of wind and solar power, from RE 100, “Google set to reach 100% renewable electricity”, 6 December 2016,; other new agreements were signed by General Motors (for 6% of its electricity demand to be supplied by a wind farm in Texas by 2018) and Nestlé (for 125 GWh annually from a wind farm in Scotland beginning in 2017), from General Motors, “GM makes its largest green energy purchase to date”, press release (Detroit, MI: 16 November 2016),, and from Nestlé, “Brand new Scottish wind farm to power Nestlé UK and Ireland’s operations”, press release (Gatwick, UK: 22 June 2016),
  79. Frankfurt School–UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 32.79
  80. Jelte Harnmeijer, Scene Consulting, personal communication with REN21, 6 February 2017.80
  81. Oxford Community Energy Cooperative, “Oxford Community Energy Co-operative announces Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm has reached commercial operation”,, viewed 7 March 2017; Anna Leidreiter, World Future Council, Hamburg, personal communication with REN21, 2 March 2017.81
  82. Ibid.; Leidreiter, op. cit. note 81. Community energy projects are particularly susceptible to the increased risks that accompany most tendering mechanisms, which tend to disproportionately benefit large-scale developers with diversified portfolios, from Harnmeijer, op. cit. note 80.82
  83. Harnmeijer, op. cit. note 80; Rebecca Harvey, “80% drop in community owned energy following government uturns”, Co-operative News, 7 September 2016,
  84. Shota Furuya, ISEP, personal communication with REN21, 13 March 2017.84
  85. Harnmeijer, op. cit. note 80.85
  86. Ibid.86
  87. Hinrichs-Rahlwes, op. cit. note 22. 87
  88. Ibid.88
  89. Maria Gallucci, “The new green grid: utilities deploy ‘virtual power plants’”, Yale e360, 1 August 2016,
  90. Holger Schneidewindt, Consumer Association of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), personal communication with REN21, 31 January 2017; Holger Schneidewindt, “Blockchain – brave new world for prosumers?”, Erneuebare Energien, 21 September 2016,
  91. Richard Martin, “Renewable energy trading launched in Germany”, MIT Technology Review, 29 December 2015,
  92. Schneidewindt, personal communication, op. cit. note 90; Michael Fuhs, “More revenue for storage system owners”, PV Magazine, 6 February 2017,; Robert Walton, “Vermont utility teams with Tesla to offer home battery installment plan”, Utility Dive, 7 December 2015,
  93. Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 32, p. 44; Ian Clover, “Wind company Suzlon enters India solar market with 210 MW project”, PV Magazine, 13 January 2016,; Anindya Upadhyay, “Hybrid solar and wind systems attract turbine makers in India”, Bloomberg, 5 September 2016,
  94. Ibid., p. 45.94
  95. In Asia, for example, a memorandum was signed by China, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Korea and Japanese partners to begin investigating the possibility for an Asian super-grid, from Andy Colthorpe, “Asian Super Grid gets support from China, Russia, S. Korea and Japan”, PV-Tech, 31 March 2016, In Africa, planning continued for the Clean Energy Corridor, which aims to develop renewable energy projects and cross-border trade of renewable power across 20 countries stretching from Egypt to South Africa (participating countries include Angola, Botswana, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), from Climate Summit 2014, “Africa Clean Energy Corridor – Action Statement and Action Plan” (New York: United Nations, 23 September 2014), In South America, steps were taken during the year to connect Brazil and Uruguay’s electric grids, and investigation began of an interconnected grid across the Arco Norte region of South America in part to encourage renewable energy development, from Power, “GE commissions HVDC converter station to interconnect networks in Brazil and Uruguay”, 2 September 2016,, and from Sylvia Virginia Larrea et al., Arco Norte Electrical Interconnection Study (Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank, July 2016),
  96. Saurabh Mahapatra, “ADB lends India $1 billion for renewable energy transmission network”, CleanTechnica, 11 December 2015,; Ilias Tsagas, “Jordan to upgrade its network: accommodate more renewables”, PV Magazine, 30 October 2015, China diverted some investment in 2016, from Julia Pyper, “Global clean energy investment fell 18% in 2016 with slowdown in China”, Greentech Media, 12 January 2017,; through 2020 from Michael Torsythe, “China aims to spend at least $360 billion on renewable energy by 2020”, New York Times, 5 January 2017,
  97. Energy access value from 2014, from IEA, “Chapter 2 Extract: Energy Access”, in World Energy Outlook 2016, op. cit. note 1, pp. 92-93; attractiveness of DRE projects from Ashwin Gambhir, Vishal Toro and Mahalakshmi Ganapathy, Decentralised Renewable Energy (DRE) Micro-grids in India: A Review of Recent Literature (Pune, India: Prayas Energy Group, 2012),
  98. See sources in Distributed Renewable Energy chapter.98
  99. IRENA, REthinking Energy 2017 (Abu Dhabi: 2017), p. 39,; Ernesto Macías Galan, SolarWatt, Dresden, Germany, personal communication with REN21, 30 January 2017.99
  100. Ibid., both references.100
  101. IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 214.101
  102. Ibid., p. 215.102
  103. Ibid., pp. 214 and 218.103
  104. Ibid., p. 214. Gaining shares based on an assumption that the 2.3% increase in growth rate of modern renewable energy surpasses the 1% increase in the overall consumption of heat.104
  105. Ibid., p. 214.105
  106. Ibid., p. 216.106
  107. Data are for 2014, from IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 214.107
  108. See Biomass Energy section in Market and Industry Trends chapter. Based on analysis of data for contribution of wastes and biomass to industrial final energy contribution from 2009 to 2014, in IEA, World Energy Outlook (Paris: 2011-2016 editions), Annex A, “World New Policy Scenario”.108
  109. Werner Weiss, Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC), Gleisdorf, Austria, personal communication with REN21, 31 January 2017; Bärbel Epp, “Miraah in Oman: ʻahead of schedule and under budgetʼ” solarthermalworld, 25 March 2017,; GlassPoint, “Miraah”,, viewed 22 February 2017.109
  110. IRENA, Renewable Energy in District Heating and Cooling (Abu Dhabi: March 2017), p. 12,
  111. Bärbel Epp, “Denmark: New solar district heating world record”, solarthermalworld, 26 January 2017,; Weiss, op. cit. note 109.111
  112. Bärbel Epp, “Germany: First record-size solar district heating plant in 11 years”, solarthermalworld, 27 September 2016,; Riccardo Battisti, “Poland: Solar for more efficient district heating networks”, solarthermalworld, 30 March 2017,; Daniel Trier, PlanEnergi, Copenhagen, Denmark, personal communication with REN21, April 2017.112
  113. Philippe Dumas, European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC), personal communication with REN21, March-May 2017. For more information see Geothermal Power and Heat section in Market and Industry Trends chapter.113
  114. Definition from Henrik Lund et al., “4th Generation District Heating (4GDH): Integrating smart thermal grids into future sustainable energy systems”, Energy, vol. 68 (15 April 2014), pp. 1-11,; trends from Miika Rama, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., personal communication with REN21, 16 March 2017.114
  115. Data are for 2014, from IEA, op. cit. note 8; Weiss, op. cit. note 109.115
  116. Weiss, op. cit. note 109.116
  117. Ibid.117
  118. Rama, op. cit. note 114.118
  119. Weiss, op. cit. note 109.119
  120. Ibid.120
  121. Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, personal communication with REN21, 28 March 2017.121
  122. Ibid.122
  123. Ibid.123
  124. Ibid.124
  125. David Appleyard, “Hybrid solar thermal-heat pump on trial”, Renewable Energy Focus, 31 August 2016,
  126. IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 215.126
  127. IEA Task 53, “2015 Highlights”,, viewed 21 March 2017; IEA Task 53, “The Future of Solar Cooling”, SHC Solar Update, May 2016,
  128. For more information and references see Solar Thermal Heating and Cooling section in Market and Industry Trends chapter.128
  129. Stryi-Hipp, op. cit. note 121.129
  130. IEA Task 53, “2015 Highlights”, op. cit. note 127.130
  131. IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 219.131
  132. Weiss, op. cit. note 109.132
  133. IRENA, op. cit. note 110, p. 16.133
  134. IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 220.134
  135. Bärbel Epp, solrico, personal communication with REN21, 25 March 2017.135
  136. Data are for 2014; see sources for Reference Table R11.136
  137. IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 214.137
  138. Share of renewable heating and cooling are 2015 data from Simas Gerdvila, Euroheat & Power, personal communication with REN21, 14 April 2017; growth rate from European Environment Agency (EEA), Renewable Energy in Europe 2016 (Luxembourg: 2016),
  139. Share from BMWi, Development of Renewable Energy Sources in Germany 2016 (Berlin: February 2017),; generation from BMWi, Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung der erneuerbaren Energien in Deutschland (Berlin: February 2017), p. 8,
  140. Share from EEA, op. cit. note 138; generation values are 2013 data from Swedish Energy Agency, Energy in Sweden 2015 (Stockholm: December 2015), p. 17,
  141. Ends Waste & Bioenergy, “Danish district heating sector consolidating”, 16 February 2017,; solar thermal from Thomas Pauschinger, SDHptm Project, personal communication with REN21, 14 April 2017.141
  142. IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 214.142
  143. Val Stori, Clean Energy Group, personal communication with REN21, 17 March 2017.143
  144. Ibid.144
  145. IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 220.145
  146. IRENA, Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America (Abu Dhabi: 2016), p. 54,
  147. Ibid., p. 56.147
  148. Bärbel Epp, solrico, personal communication with REN21, 24 April 2016.148
  149. IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 216. Population share data are from 2014.149
  150. Epp, op. cit. note 148.150
  151. South Africa from IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 237; Tunisia from Epp, op. cit. note 148.151
  152. Sekem, “Promoting alternative energies: new solar station for SEKEMs medical center”, 5 December 2016,
  153. Bärbel Epp, “Austria: Tisun sees rising interest in solar thermal in Gulf Region”, solarthermalworld, 24 January 2017,; Bärbel Epp, “Oman: Construction starts for world’s largest solar steam power plant Miraah”, solarthermalworld, 20 April 2016,
  154. Bärbel Epp, “Dubai: No solar thermal system, no building permit”, solarthermalworld, 4 September 2016,
  155. Salman Zafar, “Solar energy in Jordan”, EcoMENA, 30 March 2016,
  156. Stryi-Hipp, op. cit. note 121.156
  157. In Africa, for example, the NDCs of Malawi, Tunisia and Zimbabwe specifically mention solar water heaters, and Seychelles has set targets for renewable household heating more broadly, from Miquel Muñoz Cabré and Youba Sokona, Renewable Energy Investment in Africa and Nationally Determined Contributions, Global Economic Governance Initiative Working Paper 10, November 2016, pp. 8-13,; European Commission, “Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (recast)” (Brussels: 30 November 2016), pp. 6-7, 157
  158. Rama, op. cit. note 114.158
  159. Growth rate and emissions from IEA, Energy Technology Perspectives 2016 (Paris: 2016),; share of overall energy consumption value for 2014 from IEA, Key World Energy Trends (Paris: 2016), p. 6.159
  160. IEA, op. cit. note 8.160
  161. Data are from 2015, from IEA, Energy Technology Perspectives 2016, op. cit. note 159.161
  162. F.O. Licht, “Fuel Ethanol: World Production by Country”, 2017. With permission from F.O. Licht/Licht Interactive Data.162
  163. F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country”, 2017. With permission from F.O. Licht/Licht Interactive Data.163
  164. IRENA, Biogas for Road Vehicles Technology Brief (Abu Dhabi: March 2017), p. 2,
  165. Ibid., p. 24.165
  166. Ibid., p. 2.166
  167. Heather Allen, Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), personal communication with REN21, 5 December 2016.167
  168. “China plans for solar-powered cars”, E&E News, 6 July 2016,; Brian Publicover, “Toyota debuts new Prius with rooftop PV option in Japan”, PV Magazine, 21 February 2017,; “Uganda launches Africa’s first solar-powered bus”, ESI Africa, 4 August 2016,
  169. David Block and Paul Brooker, 2015 Electric Vehicle Market Summary and Barriers (Orlando, FL: Electric Vehicle Transportation Center, June 2016),; Allen, op. cit. note 167.169
  170. Allen, op. cit. note 167.170
  171. IEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 104.171
  172. F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 162; F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 163. US Environmental Protection Agency, “Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) Final Rule”,, viewed 8 May 2017.172
  173. IRENA, op. cit. note 164, p. 2.173
  174. “RNG-Biomethane-BioCNG-BioLNG: World Biogas Association formed”, NGV Global News, 25 November 2016,
  175. EV-Volumes, “Global Plug-in Sales for 2016”,, viewed 13 March 2017; US Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels Data Center,, viewed 8 March 2017. See Electric Vehicle section in Enabling Technologies chapter.175
  176. F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 162; Matthew Stevens, “Electric vehicle sales in Canada: 2016 final update”, EV Industry, 8 February 2017,
  177. F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 162; F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 163.177
  178. F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 162.178
  179. Ibid.; F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 163.179
  180. EV Sales, “Markets Roundup October 2016”, 29 November 2016,
  181. IRENA, op. cit. note 164, p. 2.181
  182. Hinrichs-Rahlwes, op. cit. note 22.182
  183. F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 162.183
  184. European Biogas Association, EBA Annual Report 2016 (Brussels: 2017), p. 10,; “Renewable natural gas fuel growth in Europe”, NGV Global News, 1 February 2016,; “Swedish CNG soars past 70% biomethane”, NGV Global News, 25 August 2015,; Nordic Ecolabelling, “About Nordic Swan Ecolabelled: Liquid and gaseous fuels”, 7th February 2017,
  185. IRENA, op. cit. note 164, p. 2.185
  186. Electric Vehicle World Sales Database, “Europe Plug-in sales for 2016”,, viewed 23 March 2017.186
  187. EV-Volumes, “Europe Plug-in Sales for 2016”,, viewed 30 April 2017.187
  188. Allen, op. cit. note 167.188
  189. IRENA, op. cit. note 164, p. 8.189
  190. “West Bengal begins biogas for buses”, NGV Global News, 10 January 2017,
  191. EV Sales, op. cit. note 180.191
  192. IEA, Global EV Outlook 2016 (Paris: 2016), p. 23,
  193. EV-Volumes, op. cit. note 175; EV Sales, “Japan December 2016”, 30 January 2017, See also Electric Vehicles section in Enabling Technologies chapter.193
  194. F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 162.194
  195. EV Sales, op. cit. note 180.195
  196. Mattias Svensson, Swedish Gas Technology Center, “Biomethane, the Renewable and Domestic Automotive Fuel”, presentation at NGV2014 South Africa, 2014,
  197. Based on 2014 data from IEA, World Energy Statistics 2016 (Paris: 2016),, as modified by REN21.197
  198. International Civil Aviation Organization, “Historic agreement reached to mitigate international aviation emissions”, press release (Montreal; 6 October, 2016),
  199. Ibid.199
  200. Robert Boyd, International Air Transportation Administration, Montreal, personal communication with REN21, 5 December 2016.200
  201. Example agreements include that by Jet Blue and SG Preston, from Ibid.201
  202. Ibid.202
  203. Based on 2014 data from IEA, op. cit. note 197, as modified by REN21.203
  204. IRENA, Renewable Energy Options for Shipping (Abu Dhabi: 2015), p. 4.204
  205. Paul Gilbert, University of Manchester, personal communication with REN21, 6 December 2016.205
  206. Ibid.206
  207. “LNG-fuelled ferry commences operations in Australia”, NGV Global News, 13 December 2016,; “China initiates ECAs and promotion of LNG for marine fuel”, NGV Global News, 4 September 2015,
  208. Gilbert, op. cit. note 205.208
  209. Percentage data from 2013, from IEA and International Union of Railways (UIC), Railway Handbook (Paris: 2015), p. 18.209
  210. Ibid., p. 26.210
  211. Robier van Rooij, “All Dutch trains now run 100% on wind power”, CleanTechnica, 8 January 2017,
  212. Ibid.212
  213. Daniel Fajardo Cabello, “Santiago’s subway to run on solar and wind power”, Solutions & Co.,, viewed 23 March 2017.213
  214. Nick Craven and Gabriel Castanares, UIC, personal communication with REN21, 14 December 2016; Merlin, “About”,, viewed 12 March 2017.214
  215. Cornie Huizenga, SLoCaT, personal communication with REN21, 28 November 2016; Hinrichs-Rahlwes, op. cit. note 22; Jason Deign, “Which country will become the first to ban internal combustion engines”, Greentech Media, 7 November 2016,
  216. Nikola Medimorec, SLoCaT, personal communication with REN21, 8 May 2017.216
  217. Huizenga, op. cit. note 215.217
  218. Ibid.; German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Climate Action Plan 2050, Principles and Goals of the German Government’s Climate Policy, Executive Summary (Berlin: 14 November 2016),
  219. Allen, op. cit. note 167.219