WWF: REN21 report shows record year for renewables ahead of Paris climate talks | WWF

WWF: REN21 report shows record year for renewables ahead of Paris climate talks

Posted on 18 June 2015    
Solar panels, Tunisia
© Michel Gunther/WWF
(Gland, Switzerland 18 June 2015) – Renewable energy targets and policies saw solar, wind and other renewable technologies grow to record-breaking energy generation capacity last year, according to a new report by REN21.
 
The REN21 Renewables 2015 Global Status Report found that the unprecedented growth of 135 GW of renewable energy power accounted for over 60% of net additions to world’s power capacity. Because of the rapid growth of renewable power and increased energy efficiency measures in several large countries, the world’s economy grew without a parallel rise in CO2 emissions for the first time in four decades.
 
“This report from REN21 confirms that the future is renewable,” said Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative. “The rapid spread of renewable energy is key to cutting carbon pollution and fighting dangerous climate change. It also creates jobs, produces cleaner air, and provides people and communities with affordable, easily installed power. This report shows that transitioning away from fossil fuels can benefit people and our planet without negatively impacting economies.”
 
The largest growth of renewables occurred in the wind and solar power sectors. Though China and the United States invested the largest amounts in renewables in 2014, per capita renewable energy installation is still largest in several European countries, led by Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Sweden and Spain.
 
However, as in previous years, many developing countries are investing more in renewable energy than richer OECD nations, given their economic capacity. Investments per GDP were at the highest worldwide in Burundi, Kenya, Uruguay, Jordan and Honduras.
 
“It is great to see that, compared to a decade ago, more than four times as many countries have enacted renewable energy polices and frameworks. In particular, developing countries see the plethora of benefits from renewables for their social and economic well-being,” said Dr Stephan Singer, WWF Director of Global Energy Policy.
 
“But we should not forget that global investments in fossil fuels and nuclear are still about four times higher than those in renewables. The real breakthrough for renewables requires a just transition out of fossil fuels and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies,” Singer said.
 
For further information, contact:
 
Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwf.org.za / @MandyJeanWoods  / +27 72 393 0027
Sam Smith ssmith@wwf.no  / @pandaclimate / +47 450 22 149 
 
About WWF - WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.
 
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Solar panels, Tunisia
© Michel Gunther/WWF Enlarge

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