Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

11 Jun 2016

Good energy trends

Posted by Michael Keating

Two new reports bring encouraging news about the badly needed shift to a low-carbon world. They show an increase last year in wind, solar, hydro power and increased energy efficiency, and a drop in coal burning.

According to REN21, renewables are now established around the world as mainstream sources of energy. REN21, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, is a Paris-based global renewable energy policy network. It said 2015 saw the largest ever annual increase in renewable power capacity. This came from technological advances and reductions in cost, as well as policies, better access to financing, energy security and environmental concerns. There were more large banks active in the renewables sector, and an increase in loan size, with major new commitments from international investment firms to renewables and energy efficiency.

wind turbines

Wind turbines

The latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy also paints an encouraging picture. It said that last year carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption essentially remained flat, with a slight growth in energy consumption offset by a major fall in coal use and greater renewable and nuclear energy. Renewable energy used in power generation grew by 15.2 per cent with nearly a 21 per cent increase in China. That country is now the world’s largest generator of solar energy. Where renewables were once an insignificant source, they now account for 6.7 per cent of global power generation, with just over half of that from wind energy.

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