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REPORT BY REN21 Renewables 2015; a Global Report It is clear that renewables have become a mainstream energy resource. The penetration and use of both variable and non-variable renewables are increasing, thereby contributing to diversification of the energy mix Renewable energy continued to grow in 2014 against the backdrop of increasing global energy consumption, particularly in developing countries. Despite rising energy use, for the first time in four decades, global carbon emissions associated with energy consumption remained stable in 2014 while the global economy grew; this stabilisation has been attributed to increased penetration of renewable energy and to improvements in energy efficiency. Globally, there is growing awareness that increased deployment of renewable energy (and energy efficiency) is critical for addressing climate change, creating new economic opportunities, and providing energy access to the billions of people still living without modern energy services. Although discussion is limited to date, renewables also are an important element of climate change adaptation, improving the resilience of existing energy systems and ensuring delivery of energy services under changing climatic conditions. Renewable energy provided an estimated 19.1% of global final energy consumption in 2013, and growth in capacity and generation continued to expand in 2014. Heating capacity grew at a steady pace, and 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, led by wind, solar PV, and hydropower. Growth has been driven by several factors, including renewable energy support policies and the increasing costcompetiveness of energy from renewable sources. In many countries, renewables are broadly competitive with conventional energy sources. At the same time, growth continues to be tempered by subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear power, particularly in developing countries. Although Europe remained an important market and a centre for innovation, activity continued to shift towards other regions. China again led the world in new renewable power capacity installations in 2014, and Brazil, India, and South Africa accounted for a large share of the capacity added in their respective regions. An increasing number of developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America became important manufacturers and installers of renewable energy technologies. In parallel with growth in renewable energy markets, 2014 saw significant advances in the development and deployment of energy storage systems across all sectors. The year also saw the increasing electrification of transportation and heating applications, highlighting the potential for further overlap among these sectors in the future. Market and Industry Trends Biomass Energy: Biomass for Heat, Power, and Transport Bio-heat production remained stable in 2014, increasing 1% over 2013. Composition of bio-heat portfolios continued to vary widely by region, ranging from large-scale production in industry (e.g., in the United States) to vast numbers of residential scale bio-digesters (e.g., in China). Global bio-power production increased approximately 9%, with China, Brazil, and Japan leading for capacity additions, and the United States and Germany leading for generation (despite comparatively smaller capacity additions). Liquid biofuel production was up 9% in 2014, reaching its highest level to date. Although the United States and Brazil dominated overall volume, Asia experienced particularly high production growth rates. Policy positively influenced biofuel markets where blending mandates increased demand, but policy uncertainty, particularly in Europe, the United States and Australia, had negative effects on industry. Low oil prices in the second half of the year had some positive effects, particularly in feedstock production, but reduced turnover for some bioenergy businesses. Trade patterns in both solid and liquid fuels saw some shifts in 2014, with a considerable share of North American wood pellets flowing to Asia, reducing the domination of flows to European markets. The share of traded biofuels destined for Europe declined slightly, while new markets (particularly for fuel ethanol) expanded in other regions. Geothermal Energy About 640 megawatts (MW) of new geothermal power generating capacity came on line, for a total approaching 12.8 gigawatts (GW), producing an estimated 74 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2014. The largest share of new geothermal power capacity came on line in Kenya, underscoring the growing emphasis on geothermal energy in East Africa. An estimated 1.1gigawattsthermal (GWth) of geothermal direct use (heat) capacity was added in 2014 for a total of 20.4 GWth; output was an estimated 263 petajoules (PJ) in 2014 (73 TWh). Over the past five years, total power capacity has grown at an average annual rate of 3.6%, and heat capacity at an estimated 5.9%. The geothermal industry RENEWABLE ENERGY 32 energética INDIA · NOV | DEC15


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