Compiling our annual Review issue provides a valuable opportunity to see the status of many facets of this growing industry, and the wide range of article assembled here presents a round-up of achievements and prospects across many parts of the renewables sector. And each year, those achievements of renewables technologies and businesses seem to increase in scale. Our regular yearly reports, such as those from BTM (wind markets), Paul Maycock and Travis Bradford (PV markets), New Energy Finance (investment) and the ESTEC solar thermal report all show continued growth on an impressive scale.
Climate stabilization at a cost of below 3% of global GDP* is achievable, says the Fourth Assessment Report of the International Panel of Climate Change, with renewable energy playing an important role. The 4 May report, referred to by IPCC Chair R.K. Pachauri as 'stunning', concluded a week of sometimes tricky negotiations with remarkable consensus - and with an important message for the energy sector.
The change to renewable energy will require nothing less than a global economic revolution, with benefits for the environment, the economy and global equality. Hermann Scheer argues that more than anything else, the world requires leadership and courage, because the argument is already won.
I write from London on a January day that feels more like April. Across Europe, people have been asking whether this will be the 'winter that never was', bathed as we have been in warm Atlantic air. (Though we now expect that northeast wind to arrive and make the temperatures tumble.) Meanwhile the unseasonable mildness is helping concentrate more and more minds on the need to combat climate change. (And may unseasonable weather have influenced thinking in Washington? Suggestions are that changes in climate policy may be announced in President Bush's State of the Union address.)