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Biomass Renewable

Published on January 3rd, 2014 | by Amber Archangel

10

NREL: 23% Of Global Electricity Generation Supplied By Renewable Sources

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January 3rd, 2014 by
 

Originally published on 1Sun4All.

The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) released a report – 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book – in October of 2013 regarding the status of renewable energy globally and in the US. The report has an abundance of great charts and, in reading through the pages, I discovered that renewable energy accounts for 23% of all electricity generation worldwide (4,892 TWh) (on page 41). I’ve brought out a few of the relevant charts and findings. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

In 2012, Germany led the world in cumulative solar photovoltaic installed capacity, reports the NREL. The United States leads the world in geothermal and biomass installed capacity. China leads in wind, and Spain leads in solar thermal electric generation (STEG). The following is from the 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book:

Leading Countries For Installed Renewable Energy

NREL Renewable

Image courtesy of NREL | 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book

  • Cumulative global renewable electricity installed capacity has grown by 97% from 2000 to 2012 (from 748 GW to 1,470 GW).
  • Countries with extensive solar policies—such as Germany, Spain, and Italy— lead the world in solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment.

Renewable Electricity By Technology For The World’s Top Countries

NREL Renewable

Image courtesy of NREL | 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book

Zach mentioned the weakness of this chart is that it doesn’t address the per capita or per GDP leaders. From his post, 18 Fun Renewable Energy Charts From NREL Director Dan Arvizu & Ren21′s Renewables 2013 Global Status Report, he offered the latest on those for wind and solar:

  1. Top Solar Power Countries
  2. Top Wind Power Countries Per Capita
  3. Top Wind Power Countries Per GDP

More findings from NREL’s 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book:

Total Global Renewable Electricity Capacity

NREL Renewable

Image courtesy of NREL | 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book

  • The installed global renewable electricity capacity doubled between 2000 and 2012, and represents a significant and growing portion of the total energy supply both globally and in the United States.

Growth of the World’s Sustainable Energy Resources from 2000 to 2012

NREL Renewable

Image courtesy of NREL | 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book

As a nation, and a global people, we have a significant amount of work to do to change what is happening. I look forward to seeing this report for 2013 with the measurement of the advances we made in the last year.

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About the Author

-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, and graphic designer, constant student of many studies and founder of 1Sun4All.com. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing, the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution.



  • Wayne Williamson

    Thanks for the nrel link….never went and read thru it all…

    http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/60197.pdf

    very enlightening….

  • BillStewart2012

    Calling hydropower “renewable” is only partly true – there’s a huge amount of environmental destruction that happens when you dam rivers, changing shoreline ecologies, eliminating wetlands, blocking fish migration. In the case of smaller dams, they also tend to silt up, so they’re not all long-term renewable.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Hydro is renewable energy.

      There is no “forever”, perfect renewable energy. Solar panels probably become useless after a couple hundred of years, wind turbines wear out after 3, 4 decades.

      Even the Sun will let us down in a few billion years.

      Hydro has more environmental problems than some other technologies but less than fossil fuels.

  • Ronald Brakels

    I’m trying to work out how Australia got on the list for CSP. We have a little bit of it here and there but I didn’t think it would be enough to get the number five spot on a list. Or number six spot as Egypt and Morocco are fused together in fourth place.

  • agelbert

    I realize most of the data does not include 2013 but I just want to add to the good news the massive 400 MW hydroelectric dam just completed in Bui, Ghana.

    [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/Flag_of_Ghana.svg[/img]

    But even before that, Ghana is way ahead of most countries in the world in renewable energy.

    Total Electrical Grid capacity (2012) = 14,675 GW

    Share of fossil energy = 0%

    Share of renewable energy (hydro, bio energy, thermal energy) = 99%

    Share of renewable energy (solar, wind energy) = 1%

    Perhaps they aren’t praised as much as countries like Denmark because of this: Ghana produces 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day on average.

    Never the less, this PV project now being built shows they should be touted as a great example of a country transitioning to 100% renewable energy:The biggest photovoltaic (PV) and largest solar energy plant in Africa, the Nzema project, based in Ghana, will be able to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes.[13] The 155 megawatt plant will increase Ghana’s electricity generating capacity by 6%.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_Ghana

    • No way

      I’ll take my hat of for Ghana. Especially compared to countries like Denmark who has been (and still is) burning coal like crazy to generate electricity. That map is rather to show who is the most behind and trying to catch up….but it’s good that the worlds largest polluters are starting to do something because they have the possibility to make real difference once they become environmentally friendly.

      • jeffhre

        “Share of renewable energy (hydro, bio energy, thermal energy) = 99%

        Share of renewable energy (solar, wind energy) = 1%

        Perhaps they aren’t praised as much as countries like Denmark because of this: Ghana produces 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day on average.”

        Wow, Norway and Ghana are extra-continental energy twins.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Coal use is dropping in Denmark. They are now burning about 1/3rd as much as at peak in 1997.

      • Stevie Mac

        On October 28th 2013 at 2am, Denmark managed to produce 122% of its electricity needs by wind. Google ‘how wind met all of Denmark’s electricity needs for 90 hours’.

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