REN 21 Says Renewable Energy Still Rising

The renewable energy industry is stepping up its meteoric rise into the mainstream of the energy sector, according to the REN21 Renewables 2007 Global Status Report. Renewable energy production capacities are growing rapidly as a result of more countries enacting far-reaching policies. In 2007, global wind generating capacity is estimated to have increased 28 percent, while grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity rose 52 percent.

Dr. Eric Martinot led an international team of 140 researchers and contributors from both developed and developing countries to produce the report. Citing the report, Martinot says the renewable energy sector now accounts for 2.4 million jobs globally, and has doubled electric generating capacity since 2004, to 240 gigawatts. More than 65 countries now have national goals for accelerating the use of renewable energy and are enacting far-reaching policies to meet those goals. Multilateral agencies and private investors alike are integrating renewable energy into their mainstream portfolios, capturing the interest of the largest global companies.

“The findings come in the wake of UNEP’s annual gathering of environment ministers in Monaco last week. It is clear from ministers in Monaco and from reports like REN21 that we are beginning to see elements of an emerging Green Economy, fueled by the existing climate change agreements and the prospect of even deeper and more decisive emissions reductions post 2012,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Prepared by the Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) in collaboration with the Worldwatch Institute, the Renewables 2007 Global Status Report is being released ahead of the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC), taking place March 4-6 in Washington, D.C. WIREC will be the third such international conference following those in Bonn in 2004 and Beijing in 2005.

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