A report from the International Energy Agency says that, despite economic uncertainties in several countries, power generation from wind, solar, hydroelectric and other renewable sources is expected to increase by more than 40 percent to almost 6,400 TWh by 2017.
The study, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2012, says that renewable power generation should increase by 1,840 TWh between 2011 and 2017, almost 60 percent above the 1,160 TWh growth registered between 2005 and 2011. Non-Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries will account for two-thirds of this growth, and significant development is expected in the U.S., Brazil, India and Germany, among others.
According to BNamericas, Brazil will add 32 GW of renewable energy to its power grid over the next five years, putting the country tied at fourth with Germany among countries expected to expand most in the renewable energy sector by 2017. China is ranked first with plans to install 270 GW, followed by the U.S. with 56 GW and India with 39 GW, the article said.
Hydropower continues to account for the majority of renewable generation and it registers 730 TWh of growth, the largest absolute growth of any single renewable technology over the next five years, largely driven by non-OECD countries. Onshore wind, bioenergy and solar photovoltaic see the largest increases, respectively, in generation after hydropower. Offshore wind and CSP grow quickly from low bases. Geothermal continues to develop in areas with good resources. Ocean technologies take important steps towards commercialization.
“Renewable energy is expanding rapidly as technologies mature, with deployment transitioning from support-driven markets to new and potentially more competitive segments in many countries,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said. “Given the emergence of a portfolio of renewable sources as a crucial pillar of the global energy mix, market stakeholders need a clear understanding of the major drivers and barriers to renewable deployment. Based on these factors, this report forecasts global renewable development and, in so doing, provides a key benchmark for both public and private decision makers.”
The growth is underpinned by the maturing of a portfolio of renewable energy technologies, in large part due to supportive policy and market frameworks in OECD countries. However, rapidly increasing electricity demand and energy security needs have been spurring deployment in both large and small emerging markets, creating a cycle of improved global competition and cost reductions.
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