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GSR 2015

28 01 GLOBAL OVERVIEW In2014,renewableenergyoverallexpandedsignificantlyinterms of capacity installed and energy produced. Some technologies experienced more rapid growth in deployment in 2014 than they have averaged over the past five years.11 (p See Figure 2.) In the heating sector, capacity installations continued at a steady pace; the production of biofuels for transport increased for the second consecutive year, following a slowdown in 2011-2012. The most rapid growth, and the largest increase in capacity, occurred in the power sector. Althoughmanyrenewableenergytechnologieshaveexperienced rapid expansion, growth in capacity and improvements in energy efficiency are below the rates necessary to achieve the SE4ALL goal.12 Further, the bulk of new capacity and investment has centred on just three technologies: solar PV, wind, and hydropower. Renewable energy developments in 2014 continued to be driven largelybygovernmentpolicy.13 (p SeePolicyLandscapesection.) Renewables faced challenges in some countries resulting from policy changes or uncertainties, such as the imposition of new taxes in Europe and the expiration of the US federal production tax credit. At the same time, the number of countries with renewable energy targets and policies increased again in 2014, and several jurisdictions made their existing targets more ambitious. Policymakers have focused predominantly on the power sector, with the least attention paid to heating and cooling and to transport beyond biofuels, a trend that has helped to shape the current landscape. By early 2015, several jurisdictions had 100% renewable energy or electricity targets in place. The vast majority of such targets exist at the city/local level, with a growing number of state and provincial governments pursuing 100% goals.14 Increasingly, 100% renewable energy and electricity goals also are being explored and deployed at the national level—for example, in countries such as Cabo Verde, Costa Rica, and Denmark.15 Growth also is driven by the increasing cost-competiveness of renewable energy. Renewable energy costs continued to decline in 2014, and in many countries renewables are broadly competitive with conventional energy sources.16 In terms of cost and environmental performance, distributed renewable systems also are competitive with fossil fuels (especially diesel) for heat andelectricityinislandsandremotejurisdictions,and,ingeneral, for providing access to modern energy services.17 In remote and rural areas of developing countries—and increasingly deployed to power mini- and micro-grids—renewables are playing a large and growing role in providing essential and productive energy services, due largely to growing recognition of their cost-effectiveness.18 At the same time, growth in renewable energy (and energy efficiency improvements) continues to be tempered by subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear power, particularly in developing countries. Subsidies keep conventional energy prices artificially low, which makes it more difficult for renewable energy to compete. Artificially low prices also discourage energy efficiency and conservation, which increases the amount of energy that renewables must produce in order to meet the SE4ALL goals.19 In 2013, global subsidies for fossil fuels exceeded USD 550 billion.20 In 2014, close to 30 countries reduced or eliminated their fossil fuel subsidies, with some doing so in response to low oil prices.21 Figure 2. Average Annual Growth Rates of Renewable Energy Capacity and Biofuels Production, End-2009–2014Figure 2. Average Annual Growth Rates of Renewable Energy Capacity and Biofuels Production, End 2009–2014 Geothermal power Hydro- power Solar PV CSP Wind % 50 40 30 20 10 0 7.1 13 5.3 3.6 30 27 9 16 3.6 3.5 50 46 18 115.217 Growth Rate in 2014 Growth Rate End-2009 through 2014 Power Heating Transport Ethanol production Solar heating Biodiesel production Source: See Endnote 11 for this section. 3.63.5504618115.217

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