Record installations for wind and solar PV in 2014; Renewable energy targets created in 20 more countries, new total: 164; Renewables account for over 59% of net additions to world’s power capacity; Policy-makers more attentive to green energy heating / cooling; Developing world investments on par with developed world, total $301 billion
Renewable energy targets and other support policies, now in place in 164 countries, powered the growth of solar, wind and other renewable technologies to a record-breaking energy generation capacity last year: about 135 GW of added renewable energy power increasing total installed capacity to 1,712 GW, up 8.5% from the year before.
Despite the world’s average annual 1.5% increase in energy consumption in recent years and average 3% growth in Gross Domestic Product, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2014 were unchanged from 2013 levels. For the first time in four decades, the world economy grew without a parallel rise in CO2 emissions.
The landmark “decoupling” of economic and CO2 growth is due in large measure to China's increased use of renewable resources, and efforts by countries in the OECD to promote more sustainable growth—including increased use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“Renewable energy and improved energy efficiency are key to limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius and avoiding dangerous climate change,” says REN21 Chair Arthouros Zervos, who released the new report at the Vienna Energy Forum.