Renewable energy (http://exergy-orc.com/ ) sources have experienced record growth in 2016, + 9%, with 161 gigawatts of newly installed power, up to 2,017 GW. In many countries, clean energy now costs less than fossil energy, just 5 cents a kilowatt hour (Denmark, Egypt, India, Mexico, Peru, United Arab Emirates).
However, renewable investments last year dropped by 23%, and fossil subsidies remain four times those of green sources, slowing down the transition. This is the framework outlined by the REN21 Renewable Source 2017, the Paris-based organization that of which are part governments, NGOs, research centers, and businesses, for the promotion of clean energy sources.
Emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry in 2016 remained stable for the third consecutive year, despite a 3% growth in the world economy and a growing demand for energy. This should be attributed to the reduction in the use of coal, but also to the growth of energy efficiency and clean sources.
Specific energy sources
For what concern specific energy sources, there is a decline in coal and growth both for natural gas and renewable sources.
Coal consumption worldwide is decreasing from 3,784.7 million tonnes oil equivalent to 3,732.0, and that’s the only energy source with a drop from 2015 to 2016. Oil and natural gas knew a steady increase, such as nuclear energy, but the highest growth has been made by renewable energies (366.7 million tonnes oil equivalent of consumption in 2015, 419.6 in 2016).
The areas of the world that record the highest production of renewable energies are Europe and East Asia. In the old continent, Germany leads the standings, followed by Spain and, just below, Italy. In Asia, we find China, Japan, and Third, India.
Investment in renewables
In the field of renewables, the United States remains the world’s largest investor with 19% of its total investments. The US invested 46.4 billion dollars in clean energy in 2016, a 10% drop compared to the previous year. However, they also recorded a sharp increase in small-scale investments (especially solar panels on the roofs), for 13.1 billion.
The market for electric cars and eco-friendly heating and cooling systems remain marginal, on the other hand, energy storage last year increased by 0.8 GW, up to a total of 6.4 GW, and investments in solar powered mini-networks amounted to $ 223 million (158 in 2015).