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REN21 Publishes Global Status Report on Renewables for 2011

12 July 2011: The Renewable Energy Global Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) has released the 2011 edition of its flagship publication, the “Renewables 2011 Global Status Report,” which indicates that despite continuing economic recessions, reductions in support mechanisms and low natural gas prices, renewables continue to perform well.

The report aims to capture the most up-to-date information on renewable energy policies, industries, investments and markets. Some of the main messages of the report include that in 2010: renewables made up nearly half of newly installed electricity capacity; renewable energies made up an estimated 16% of global final energy consumption; solar photovoltaic usage more than doubled due to price reductions; global investments in renewables increased by over 30% to a record US$ 211 billion; and emerging and developing economies significantly increased their share of renewables policies, investment, supply and use.

On policy, although long-term policy certainty is still lacking in many cases, national renewable energy targets now exist in at least 98 countries, with feed in tariffs being the most widely implemented policy, in 61 countries and 26 states/provinces around the world.

On access to basic energy services in rural areas, the report highlights that although exact numbers are difficult to estimate, hundreds of millions of rural people have begun using renewable energy, with biogas digesters for lighting and or cooking being most prevalent, and with widespread solar photovoltaic and micro hydro. It also notes that over 166 million people now use high efficiency, low pollution biomass cookstoves.

Along with the report, REN21 has launched an online Renewables Interactive Map that allows searches by technology, sector and country. Going a level deeper into the map, one finds information about policies, targets, end use share, installed capacity, energy production, potential, as well as information about the renewable energy of that country, sector, or technology. [Links to Press Release in English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese][Publication: Renewables 2011 Global Status Report] [Renewables Interactive Map]