2010 Renewables Global Status Report

Global Renewable Capacity Continues to Grow in 2009 Fueled by Policy and Ongoing Investment

REN21 is pleased to release its annual publication – the Renewables 2010 Global Status Report together with its twin report, UNEP’s annual Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2010 report.

The year 2009 was unprecedented in the history of renewable energy, despite the headwinds posed by the global financial crisis, lower oil prices, and slow progress with climate policy. Indeed, as other economic sectors declined around the world, existing renewable capacity continued to grow at rates close to those in previous years, including grid-connected solar PV (53 %), wind power (32 %), solar hot water/heating (21 %), geothermal power (4 %), and hydropower (3 %). Annual production of ethanol and biodiesel increased 10 % and 9 %, respectively, despite layoffs and ethanol plant closures in the United States and Brazil.

Highlights of 2009 include:

* For the second year in a row, in both the United States and Europe, more renewable power capacity was added than conventional power capacity (coal, gas, nuclear). Renewables accounted for 60 % of newly installed power capacity in Europe in 2009, and nearly 20 % of annual power production.

* China added 37 GW of renewable power capacity, more than any other country in the world, to reach 226 GW of total renewables capacity. Globally, nearly 80 GW of renewable capacity was added, including 31 GW of hydro and 48 GW of non-hydro capacity.

* Wind power additions reached a record high of 38 GW. China was the top market, with 13.8 GW added, representing more than one-third of the world market — up from just a 2 % market share in 2004. The United States was second, with 10 GW added. The share of wind power generation in several countries reached record highs, including 6.5 % in Germany and 14 % in Spain.

* Solar PV additions reached a record high of 7 GW. Germany was the top market, with 3.8 GW added, or more than half the global market. Other large markets were Italy, Japan, the United States, Czech Republic, and Belgium. Spain, the world leader in 2008, saw installations plunge to a low level in 2009 after a policy cap was exceeded.

* Many countries saw record biomass use. Notable was Sweden, where biomass accounted for a larger share of energy supply than oil for the first time.

* Biofuels production contributed the energy equivalent of 5 % of world gasoline output.

* Almost all renewable energy industries experienced manufacturing growth in 2009, despite the continuing global economic crisis, although many capital expansion plans were scaled back or postponed. Impaired access to equity markets, difficulty in obtaining finance, and industry consolidations negatively affected almost all companies.

* Nearly 11 GW of solar PV was produced, a 50 % increase over 2008. First Solar (USA) became the first firm ever to produce over 1 GW in a single year. Major crystalline module price declines took place, by 50–60 % by some estimates, from highs of $3.50 per watt in 2008 to lows approaching $2 per watt.

* Wind power received more than 60 % of utility-scale renewables investment in 2009 (excluding small projects), due mostly to rapid expansion in China.

* Investment totals in utility-scale solar PV declined relative to 2008, partly an artifact of large drops in the costs of solar PV. However, this decline was offset by record investment in small-scale (rooftop) solar PV projects.

* Investment in new biofuels plants declined from 2008 rates, as corn ethanol production capacity was not fully utilized in the United States and several firms went bankrupt. The Brazilian sugar ethanol industry likewise faced economic troubles, with no growth despite ongoing expansion plans. Europe faced similar softening in biodiesel, with low production capacity utilization.

* “Green stimulus” efforts since late-2008 by many of the world’s major economies totaled close to $200 billion, although most stimulus was slow to start and less than 10 % of green stimulus funds was spent during 2009.

* By 2009, over 85 countries had some type of policy target, up from 45 countries in 2005. Many national targets are for shares of electricity production, typically 5–30 percent, but range as high as 90 percent. Other targets are for shares of total primary or final energy supply (typically 10–20 percent), specific installed capacities of various technologies, or total amounts of energy production from renewables. Most recent targets aim for 2020 and beyond. Many targets also exist at the state, provincial, and local levels.

* At least 83 countries have some type of policy to promote renewable power generation. The most common policy is the feed-in tariff, which has been enacted in many new countries and regions in recent years. By early 2010, at least 50 countries and 25 states/provinces had feed-in tariffs, more than half of these adopted only since 2005. Strong momentum for feed-in tariffs continues around the world as countries continue to establish or revise policies. States and provinces have been adopting feed-in tariffs in increasing numbers as well.

* Renewable energy has an important role in providing modern energy access to the billions of people in developing countries that continue to depend on more traditional sources of energy, both for households and small industries. The number of rural households served by renewable energy is difficult to estimate, but runs into the tens of millions considering all forms of renewables. Micro-hydro configured into village-scale or county-scale mini-grids serves many of these. More than 30 million households get lighting and cooking from biogas made in household-scale digesters. An estimated 3 million households get power from small solar PV systems. Biomass cookstoves are used by 40 percent of the world’s population.

WWEA2010 Volker Thomsen

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Like most of our World Wind Energy Conferences the WWEC2010 did showcase our unique position and our role of integrating all countries into our mandate to promote wind power generation and to cooperate with all technologies in a “Symphony of the Renewables” and in a close partnership with IRENA. There were many highlights and even some historical moments we need to celebrate and acknowledge.
First of all a warm thank to our host country Turkey and Istanbul the fascinating gate between the Orient and the Occident. Tanay and his team was a great host that together with a great leadership from Stefan Gsaenger in a very charming way lead us through a labyrinth of impressions in this great conference in one of the worlds most historic places and Europe’s biggest city with a vibrant population of 20 million.I expected a chaotic big city with lots of challenges and was pleasantly surprised how well the trafic and how resaonable well the events were flowing.
There were many highlights of which I want to mention a few of the most significant:
Giving IRENA  the 2010 World Wind Energy Award. IRENA was represented by the DG Helene Pelosse who has showcased with her small and dedicated team that they are truly committed to their mandate and the ambitious task to integrate the entire world including all small, medium and big size countries on the transition into sustainable future of RE of all kinds everywhere.
Together we identified some exiting joint areas of activities between IRENA and the WWEA. This is not the right place and moment to get involved in details, but one of the most pressing and rewarding areas where IRENA and WWEA can support each other and where IRENA even at the beginning of their journey can be active and become successful right away is to help prepare and train a global workforce and introduce standards for a never ending demand for skilled labour in the field. Windenergy generation installed capacity will grow from 200,000 MW in 2010 to 2,000,000 MW in 2020. In order to make this an economical, social and cultural lasting success it is crucial that the production, erection, operation and maintenance is efficient and reliable by developing and securing a first class trained workforce within this relatively new industry.  It makes me very happy and confident that this and other concrete tasks where identified for our joint effort all of them projects that meet an immediate global need.
It is crucial that IRENA’s first projects are going to be successful. It is therefore great that we have identified several areas where our mutual support will benefit all of us. IRENA is like a young delicate flower that is challenged by many interest of many colours and forms. WWEA members placed everywhere in the world have a unique opportunity to become happy and highly rewarded “gardeners” that will help IRENA to flourish and prosper.
The “Symphony of the Renewables” was another highlight and it became obvious that we together with our colleagues from all technologies are united in our goal to create a world of 100 % clean reliable and sustainable supplies and developments that will ensure prosperity even in the smallest village in the most remote area.
This brand new conference venue at this historic location where sultans used to reside was a great place for this years theme and also a good example of the challenges or better opportunities Wind Energy is facing in many countries including Turkey.
The courages Wind Generation Industry in Turkey has to be commended for their vision and determination. They also deserve a warm thank you for a most wonderful gala dinner in a great university and fascinating location. The delicate food & drink combined with passionate folklore made us all energized and encouraged to move on with our exiting journey.
The evening boat cruise was another memorable event with many big impressions. The dramatic scenery by night moved us back into 1000 and one nights, as well as into the future being right in the gate between the East and the West.
My personal highlight was the honour to speak the laudatio for IRENA getting the 2010 WWEA Award. It also reminds all of us about our unique opportunity together with IRENA and our colleagues from the other RE technologies to make a big difference in a badly suffering world full of wars for oil and oil spills that show us how badly mother Earth is bleeding from its wounds.
My warm regards and best wishes go to all delegates and organisers. To all the members around the world that for one or the other reason were not able to participate you should know that we badly missed you!
I encourage you already now to start planing your participation at the WWEC2011 in Cairo in May 2011 that without any doubt promises to be another exiting event.
Bless you!