COP17 Press Briefing – “How Long Until We Power the Globe with Renewables? Insights from REN21’s 2011 Global Status Report”

Event Date: 
December 6, 2011 - 2:00pm
Room Kosi Palm, International Convention Center, Durban, South Africa

Renewable energy continues to gain ground. While annual growth in fossil fuels remains in the single digits and nuclear's share shrinks further, renewable energy sources are experiencing growth rates of up to 70 percent every year. Half of last year’s electric capacity additions were renewables. Today, renewables already account for 25 percent of total global power capacity and 20 percent of worldwide electricity production. The sector's undeterred growth has been a positive constant despite the economic recession and public finance crises in many parts of the world. Among the fastest-growing renewable energy markets in 2010 were China (up 26 percent), Germany (up 10.4 percent), and the United States (up 5 percent). For the first time, developing-country investments in renewables surpassed those in the developed world. The two main drivers of renewables' success are technological developments that make renewable energy sources more effective and less expensive, and supportive policies. Today, 119 countries have renewable energy targets or support policies, compared with only 55 in 2005.

On Tuesday, December 6th  from 2:00 to 2:30 pm, Worldwatch and Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) Executive Secretary Christine Lins will launch REN21’s annual Global Status Report, the most frequently referenced report on renewable energy policy and business since its first publication in 2005 at COP17. The report serves a wide range of audiences from investors and government decision makers to students, project developers, researchers, and industrial manufacturers. At the briefing, speakers will present the latest numbers on alternative energy, discuss the United States’ performance in the global market, and explain what can be done on a state, federal, and international level to accelerate the transition to a green economy.