The percentage of global energy that is being generated by renewable technology is steadily increasing, mainly because solar panels have reduced in price significantly over the last few years. These encouraging developments were revealed by the United Nations Environment Program recently.
The data reveals that wind, solar and the mixture of other renewables, made up to nearly 10 per cent of the world’s electric power generation in 2013. The figures saw a 1.2% increase from the previous year. These figures come off the back of a warning from Bloomberg and Pew charitable trusts, who have said that investment in renewable energy has been declining, with the US falling behind China.
The report also came out after the IPCC released its latest assessment on climate change, in which it set out some of the key issues in regards to humans having to adapt to changing and more challenging climatic and environmental conditions.
Bloomberg’s global trends in renewable energy report, claims that renewables such as wind and solar account for as much as 43% of new electricity generating capacity. Introducing such a large volume of renewable energy has prevented an estimated 1.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. The report described a drop in investment of 14% which was put down to the falling cost of solar, which increased worldwide generating capacity from 31 gigawatts to 39 gigawatts. Other explanations given for the drop in investment was the uncertainty being created in many countries around the continued growth in investment for renewable energy technologies.
The United States has been the largest investor in renewable energy however the drive for natural gas and oil and other polluting energy sources has affected renewable development.
Despite some of the aforementioned negative aspects, the overall global outlook for renewable energy remains good, as more countries around the world turn to renewable technology which continues to bring down costs, improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.