01 Global Overview

Renewable energy provided an estimated 19% of global final energy consumption in 2012i, and continued to grow strongly in 2013.ii 1 Of this total share in 2012, traditional biomassiii, which currently is used primarily for cooking and heating in remote and rural areas of developing countries, accounted for about 9%, and modern renewables increased their share to approximately 10%.

The combined modern and traditional renewable energy share remained about level with 2011, even as the share of modern renewables increased.2 This is because the rapid growth in modern renewable energy is tempered by both a slow migration away from traditional biomass and a continued rise in total global energy demand.3

Modern renewable energy is being used increasingly in four distinct markets: power generation, heating and cooling, transport fuels, and rural/off-grid energy services. The breakdown of modern renewables, as a share of total final energy use in 2012, was as follows: hydropower generated an estimated 3.8%; other renewable power sources comprised 1.2%; heat energy accounted for approximately 4.2%; and transport biofuels provided about 0.8%.4 (See Figure 1.)

During the years 2009 through 2013, installed capacity as well as output of most renewable energy technologies grew at rapid rates, particularly in the power sector.5 (See Figure 2.) Over this period, solar photovoltaics (PV) experienced the fastest capacity growth rates of any energy technology, while wind saw the most power capacity added of any renewable technology. The use of modern renewables for heating and cooling progressed steadily, although good data for many heating technologies and fuels are lacking.6 (See Sidebar 1, page 23.) Biofuels production for use in the transport sector slowed from 2010 to 2012, despite high oil prices, but picked up again in 2013.7

As renewable energy industries and markets mature, they ncreasinglyface new and different challenges—as well as a wide range of opportunities. In Europe, a growing number of countries has reduced, sometimes retroactively, financial support for renewables at a rate that exceeds the decline in technology costs. Such actions have been driven, in part, by the ongoing economic crisis in some member states, by related electricity over-capacity, and by rising competition with fossil fuels. Policy uncertainty has increased the cost of capital—making it more difficult to finance projects—and reduced investment. (See Policy Landscape section.) During 2013, Europe continued to see a significant loss of start-up companies (especially solar PV), resulting in widespread financial losses.8 On a bright note, the share of renewables in gross final energy consumption in the European Union (EUiv) reached an estimated 14.1% in 2012, up from 8.3% in 2004.9

Figure 1. Estimated Renewable Energy Share of Global Final Energy Consumption, 2012

Source: See Endnote 4 for this section.

i - Note that it is not possible to provide 2013 shares due to a lack of data.

ii - Endnotes in this report are numbered by section and begin on page 152 (see full version online: http://www.ren21.net/gsr). Endnotes contain source materials and assumptions used to derive data in the GSR, as well as additional supporting notes.

iii - Traditional biomass refers to solid biomass that is combusted in inefficient, and usually polluting, open fires, stoves, or furnaces to provide heat energy for cooking, comfort, and small-scale agricultural and industrial processing, typically in rural areas of developing countries. It may or may not be harvested in a sustainable manner. Traditional biomass currently plays a critical role in meeting rural energy demand in much of the developing world. Modern biomass energy is defined in this report as energy derived efficiently from solid, liquid, and gaseous biomass fuels for modern applications. (See Glossary for definitions of terms used in this report.) There is ongoing discussion about the sustainability of traditional biomass, and whether it should be considered renewable, or renewable only if it comes from a sustainable source. For information about the environmental and health impacts of traditional biomass, see H. Chum et al., "Bioenergy," in Edenhofer et al., eds., IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

iv - The use of "European Union," or "EU", throughout refers specifically to the EU-28.

Figure 2. Average Annual Growth Rates of Renewable Energy Capacity and Biofuels Production, End-2008-2013

Source: See Endnote 5 for this section.

Further, renewables operate on an un-level playing field in which energy prices do not fully reflect externalities. global subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power remain high despite discussions about their phase-out, encouraging inefficient energy use while also hindering investment in renewables.10 Depending on the calculation method used, estimates for the global cost of fossil fuel subsidies range from USD 544 billion to USD 1.9 trillion—several times higher than those for renewable energy.11 (See Sidebar 6, GSR 2013.)

Electric grid-related challenges continued in 2013. These include lack of transmission infrastructure in some locations, delays in grid connection, and sometimes the curtailment of renewable generation.12 At high penetration levels, variable renewables can pose challenges for electricity grid system operators. A growing number of countries is aiding integration through improvements in grid management practices, improving system flexibility, and modifying existing grid infrastructure and technologies.13 (See Feature, GSR 2013.)

Overall, with some exceptions in Europe and the United States, renewables saw a number of significant and positive developments in 2013.14 Wind power moved more firmly into Africa and Latin America; concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) shifted its focus further to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and to South Africa; renewable process heat fuelled industries from Chile to Europe to India; and solar PV continued to spread across the globe, with most capacity on-grid but also significant increases in off-grid markets in developing countries.

Such developments make it increasingly evident that renewables are no longer dependent upon a small handful of countries. Indeed, during 2013, major renewable energy companies further shifted their focus away from traditional markets in Europe and into Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where strong new markets are emerging in all sectors, both on and off the grid.15

Renewables have been aided by continuing advances in technologies, falling prices, and innovations in financing, driven largely by policy support. These developments are making renewable energy more economical than new fossil and nuclear installations under many circumstances, and thus more affordable for a broader range of consumers in developed and developing countries.16 In addition, there is increasing awareness of renewable energy technologies and resources, and their potential to help meet rapidly rising energy demand, while also creating jobs, accelerating economic development, reducing local air pollution, improving public health, and reducing carbon emissions.17

There is also a growing recognition that renewable energy can expand access to modern energy services in developing countries, both rapidly and cost effectively.18 As more attention turns to issues of energy access, as prices decline, and as new business models emerge, it is becoming apparent that rural energy markets in developing countries offer significant business opportunities, and products are being tailored specifically to meet the needs of these markets.19 (See Distributed Renewable Energy section.)

Increasingly, renewable energy is considered crucial for meeting current and future energy needs. In Latin America, for example, renewables are now seen as a critical energy source.20 (See Sidebar 2.) To achieve a variety of energy security and sustainability goals, growing numbers of cities, states, and regions around the world seek to transition to 100% renewable energy in individual sectors or economy-wide, and many have already achieved their targets.21


Reliable, accessible, and timely data on renewable energy are essential for establishing energy plans, defining baselines for targets, monitoring progress and effectiveness of policy measures, and attracting investment. Global data collection on renewables has improved significantly in recent years with more-comprehensive and timelier record keeping, increased accessibility, and better communication among stakeholders. Significant gains have been made over the past decade as governments, industries, and other entities have improved data collection methods. However, there are still large data gaps, particularly in the decentralised applications of renewable energy. The task also grows in complexity as the use of renewable energy increases in scale and expands geographically, making data more difficult to track. A number of challenges remain.

In many countries, renewable energy data are not collected systematically and, where data do exist, they vary widely in quality and completeness. Timing of data releases varies considerably, and reporting periods differ. The time lag between developments and availability of data (in many instances two years or longer) can be a barrier to informed decision making, given the rapidly evolving renewable energy landscape.

Some challenges are technology or sector specific, due to the decentralised nature of installations and industry structure. For example, most traditional biomass is used for heating and cooking in more than a billion dwellings worldwide, and estimates of total quantities are uncertain. Modern biomass technologies have varying rates of fuel-to-energy conversion, and the wide range of feedstocks, sources, and conversion pathways makes uniform data collection difficult. Even the energy from traded biomass is difficult to track because the traded feedstock can have both energy and non-energy uses.

Renewable heating (and cooling) data, in general, present a challenge because of the relatively large number and variety of technologies involved (e.g., feedstocks, energy conversion technologies, distribution) and the distributed nature of the sector. In some countries, there is a misconception that the use of renewable heating (such as solar thermal collectors for water heating) is an energy efficiency measure, and thus developments are not recorded with other renewable energy data. Capacity and output data on distributed heat, off-grid electricity, and other decentralised applications frequently go uncollected or are otherwise fragmented.

Energy output data are challenging to estimate accurately for a variety of reasons, including variability in local resource and system conditions. Where renewables are part of hybrid facilities (such as biomass co-firing, CSP-fossil fuel hybrids), output is often not broken down by source, resulting in over-or underestimation of the renewable component. In addition, declining efficiencies of existing stock and retirement and replacement of ageing capacity need to be accounted for, but these are seldom reported and therefore are often subject to estimation.

Many national and international entities do not report data sources and assumptions underlying their statistics. Some data are aggregated under the "other" category, which may or may not include non-renewable products. Other datasets are not publicly available. Methodologies and assumptions (including what is counted and how) can differ markedly among sources, creating inconsistencies and uncertainty about data robustness.

Formal (government) data may command some premium in the hierarchy of data, but informal data are also critical for establishinga more comprehensive view of the global renewable energy sector. The challenge is to effectively bring together data from various institutional and individual sources in a consistent, systematic, and transparent context. Several national, regional, and international initiatives have been formed to overcome gaps and improve the quality of renewable energy data, in part by systematically relying on a broader array of both formal and informal sources. These include the Global Tracking Framework under SE4ALL, projects underway at IRENA, regional initiatives in western Africa and the MENA region, and ongoing work by REN21 with global and regional status reports.

The collection and processing of renewable energy statistical information can be seen as burdensome; however, inconsistent data collection efforts hamper governments' capacity to make informed decisions. Experts agree that systematic and enhanced reporting is critical for increasing financing, establishing policy priorities, and improving energy planning over time.

Source: See Endnote 6 for this section.


Increasing interest in renewable energy in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region is reflected in ambitious targets and policy support, which have led to rapidly growing investments in renewables, beyond the traditional hydropower sector. By early 2014, at least 19 countries in the region had renewable energy policies, and at least 14 had renewable energy targets, mostly for electricity generation. (See Table 3 and Reference Tables R12 to R15.) For example, Uruguay aims to generate 90% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015, while Grenada targets 20% primary energy from renewables by 2020.

Renewable energy already meets a substantial portion of electricity demand, with hydropower accounting for around half of the region's total installed power capacity and the vast majority of its renewable power capacity. Especially in Central America, the need for a diversified electricity mix to reduce vulnerability to a changing hydrological profile is driving interest in other abundant renewable energy resources. In Brazil, hydropower expansion is expected to become increasingly constrained by environmental sensitivity and the remoteness of much of the remaining resource. In the Caribbean, countries are aggressively pursuing the deployment of renewables to reduce their heavy reliance on fossil fuels, and thereby increase their economic and energy security.

Despite having an average electrification rate of almost 95%, one of the highest among the developing regions, energy access remains a challenge for the LAC region: an estimated 24 million people, primarily in rural and remote areas, still lack access to electricity. Some countries have achieved virtually 100% electrification, while others have far to go. Renewables can play an important role in achieving universal access to modern energy. Solar energy is abundant across the region, which is also home to nearly one-quarter of the world's geothermal potential, and wind resources are world class in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. By one estimate, non-hydro renewable energy has the technical potential to meet more than 50 times the region's current electricity demand.

While the region's hydropower sector is relatively mature, the vast potential of non-hydro renewables is now beginning to be realised. Wind power has experienced the fastest growth in recent years, with Brazil and Mexico leading the way. With about 1 gigawatt (GW) of geothermal capacity, Mexico is the world's fifth-largest geothermal power producer, followed in the LAC region by Central America, with a collective 500 MW of capacity. The solar PV market, while increasingly important in off-grid and rural areas, has experienced a shift in focus from small domestic applications to large-scale power plants.

In the heating sector, renewable energy applications for domestic, commercial, and industrial use are gaining ground. Solar thermal collectors for water heating are spreading beyond Brazil, one of the world's top markets. Chile's mining industry is actively installing solar thermal systems (parabolic trough and flat-plate collectors) to meet its heat energy needs in remote locations. Solar food dryers are used for processing fruits and coffee in Jamaica, Peru, and Mexico.

Over 80% of the LAC population lives in cities, and the region is urbanising at a rapid pace, with increasing demand for transportation. To meet this demand while slowing the growth of fossil fuel consumption, several countries are promoting the use of biofuels. Biofuels account for 13% of transport fuel in Brazil, and their role is growing in several other countries. Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia lead the region for biofuel production.

Several countries have adopted feed-in tariffs, public competitive bidding (tendering), tax incentives, and quotas to drive deployment. The use of public competitive bidding has gained momentum in recent years, with Brazil, El Salvador, Peru, and Uruguay issuing tenders in 2013 for more than 6.6 GW of renewable electric capacity. Eight countries had net metering laws by year's end, with pilot projects operating in Costa Rica and Barbados.

An improved environment for renewables is attracting new national and international investors. Although Brazil experienced a decline in new investment in 2013 forthe second year running, others in the region sawsignificant increases, with Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay committing over USD 1 billion each.

Manufacturers are seeking growth opportunities in the region. While the larger economies-Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico-are the front-runners, manufacturing of renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines, is spreading across the region.

Differences in electricity market structures and regulations have constrained efforts to integrate electricity markets regionally to date, and lack of transmission infrastructure has delayed the development of some projects. Lack of awareness about renewable heat technologies and their potential is impeding their expansion. In addition, the relatively low level of energy demand in some countries—such as the Caribbean nations—makes it difficult to support local industry and can preclude the potential to benefit from economies of scale. Despite a number of near-term challenges, the region is demonstrating unprecedented growth and presents significant opportunities for expansion.

The "Regional Spotlight" sidebar appeared for the first time in GSR 2013 and is now a regular feature of the report, focussing on developments and trends in a different world region each year.

Source: See Endnote 20 for this section.

As markets have become more global, industries have responded by increasing their flexibility and developing global strategies and supply chains.22 In 2013, manufacturers continued to diversify products to increase product value, and many advanced further into projectdevelopmentand ownership. Many renewable industries saw a rapid increase in worldwide demand for construction and engineering, consulting, equipment maintenance, and operations services.23 Several industries had a difficult year, with consolidation continuing, particularly in solar energy and wind power. But the picture brightened by year's end, with many solar PV and wind turbine manufacturers returning to profitability.24

Global investment in renewables declined again in 2013, largely due to falling system costs and policy uncertainty.25 Still, renewables outpaced fossil fuels for the fourth year running in terms of net investment in power capacity additions.26 Further, 2013 was a watershed year for renewable energy financing, with the development and enactment of new financing structures that provide access to low-cost money through capital markets.27 (See investment Flows section.) Projects (particularly wind and solar PV) changed hands at record rates during the year, reflecting in part a growing interest in renewable energy asset investments among pension funds and other institutional investors that anticipate solid long-term returns.28 Innovative financing mechanisms, such as crowd funding and risk-guarantee schemes, continued to expand and spread across China, Europe, and the United States, and are increasingly targeting off-grid projects in Africa and Asia.29 A range of actors continued to actively engage in the financing of distributed renewable energy projects for isolated regions of the developing world.30

The impacts of all of these developments on employment numbers in the renewable energy sector have varied by country and technology, but, globally, the number of people working in renewable industries has continued to rise. (See Sidebar 6, page 60, and Table 1, page 63.)

1 Estimated shares are from the following sources: total 2012 final energy demand (estimated at 8,265 Mtoe) based on 8,098 Mtoe for 2011 from International Energy Agency (IEA), "World Energy Statistics" (Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECDVIEA, 2013) and escalated by the 2.06% increase in global primary energy demand from 2011 to 2012, derived from BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2013 (London: 2013), http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/statistical-review/statistical_review_of_world_energy_2013.pdf. Traditional biomass use in 2012 of 31.3 EJ based on the same value for 2011 from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2013 (Paris: OECD/IEA, 2013), p. 217. Elsewhere, traditional biomass use in 2011 was estimated at 744 Mtoe (31.15 EJ), and expected to decline by 2020, from IEA, World Energy Outlook (Paris: OECD/IEA, 2013), pp. 200-201. In 2011, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicateda higher range for traditional biomass of 37-43 EJ, and a proportionately lower figure for modern biomass use, perO. Edenhofer et al., eds., IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Resources and Climate Change Mitigation (Cambridge, U.K. and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), Table 2.1, http://srren.ipcc-wg3.de/report. Bio-heat energy values for 2012 (industrial, residential, commercial, and other uses, including heat from heat plants) based on 315 Mtoe (12.8 EJ) for 2011 and projected 3.1% annual growth for bioenergy use for heat to 2018, from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2013, op. cit. this note, p. 223. Bio-powergeneration was estimated at 32 Mtoe (373 TWh), from idem, p. 172. Wind powergeneration of 50 Mtoe (582 TWh) based on global capacity of 283.2 GW from Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), Global Wind Report-Annual Market Update 2013 (Brussels: April 2014), http://www.gwec.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/GWEC-Global-Wind-Report_9-April-2014.pdf, and a capacityfactor (CF) of 23.44%, calculated from 2012 global capacity and output as reported by Navigant Research, World Market Update 2013: International Wind Energy Development. Forecast 2014-2018 (Copenhagen: March 2014). Solar PV generation was estimated at 9.9 Mtoe (116 TWh), based on 99.7GWcapacityfrom European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), Market Report 2013 (Brussels: March 2014), http://www.epia.org/uploads/tx_epiapublications/Market_Report_2013_02.pdf, and average CF of 13.24%, based on 2013 capacity of 139 GW from Gaetan Masson, IEA-Photovoltaic PowerSystems Programme (IEA-PVPS), and iCARES Consulting, personal communication with REN21, February-May 2014; and EPIA, Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2014-2018 (Brussels: forthcoming 2014); 2013 generation of 160 TWh from IEA-PVPS, PVPS Report - Snapshot of Global PV 1992-2013: Preliminary Trends Information from the IEA PVPS Programme (Brussels: March 2014), http://www.iea-pvps.org/fileadmin/dam/public/report/statistics/PVPS_report_-_A_Snapshot_of_Global_PV_-_1992-2013_-_final_3.pdf. CSP was 0.5 Mtoe (6 TWh), based on 2.54 GW capacity from REN21, Renewables 2013 Global Status Report (Paris: REN21 Secretariat, 2013), and CF of 25.9% based on preliminary 2013 capacity and generation from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2014 (Paris: OECD/IEA, forthcoming 2014). Ocean power was 0.1 Mtoe (1.1 TWh), based on 530 MW capacity and CF of 23.3% based on 2013 capacity and generation from idem. Geothermal electricity generation was 6.2 Mtoe (72 TWh), from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2013, op. cit. this note. Hydropowerwas 318 Mtoe (3,700 TWh), from International Hydropower Association (IHA), personal communication with REN21, May 2014. Solar thermal heating/cooling of 20.6 Mtoe (0.86 EJ) from Franz Mauthner, AEE- Institute for Sustainable Technologies, Gleisdorf, Austria, personal communication with REN21, March-May 2014, and from Franz Mauthnerand Werner Weiss, So lar Heat Worldwide: Markets and Contribution to the Energy Supply 2012 (Gleisdorf, Austria: IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC), forthcoming 2014). Note that the estimate does not consideraircollectors. Geothermal heat was estimated at 7.8 Mtoe (0.33 EJ), derived from the average of two estimated values. The first (376 PJ) was derived from global annual direct use in 2011 of 335 PJ, from IEA, "World Energy Statistics," op. cit. this note, and escalated at the observed two-yearaverage growth rate (2009-2011) to 2012 and 2013; the second (281 TJ) was derived from global direct use in 2009 of 223 PJ, from John W. Lund, Derek H. Freeston, and Tonya L. Boyd, "Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2010 Worldwide Review," Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2010 (Bali, Indonesia: 25-29 April 2010), which was escalated first at the annual growth rate from IEA data ("World Energy Statistics," op. cit. this note) to 2011 and then by the two-year average growth rate (2009-2011) to 2012 and 20 13, as above. For liquid biofuels, ethanol use was estimated at 43.8 Mtoe (1.83 EJ) and biodiesel use at 19.4 Mtoe (0.81 EJ), based on 82.6 billionitres and 23.6 billion litres, respectively, from F.O. Licht, "Fuel Ethanol: World Production, by Country (1000 cubic metres)," 2014, and F.O. Licht, "Biodiesel: World Production, by Country (1000 t)," 2014, used with permission from F.O. Licht/Licht Interactive Data; average conversion factors from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, "Bioenergy Conversion Factors," https://bioenergy.ornl.gov/papers/misc/energy_conv.html. Nuclear powergeneration was assumed to contribute 213 Mtoe (2,477 TWh) of final energy, from BP, op. cit. this note.

2 Ibid.

3 IEA, World Energy Outlook2013, op. cit. note 1, p. 200.

4 Data and Figure 1 based on sources in Endnote 1.

5 Figure 2 based on the following sources (see also relevant sections and endnotes for more details regarding 2013 data and sources): Solar PV based on 15,795 M W in operation at the end of 2008, and 99,690 MW at the end of 2012, from EPIA, Market Report 2013, op. cit. note 1, and more than 139 GW at the end of 2013. CSP based on 485 MW in operation at the end of 2008, from Fred Morse, Abengoa Solar, personal communication with REN21, 4 May 2012, and from Red Eléctrica de España (REE), "Potencia Instalada Peninsular (MW)," updated 29 April 2013, https://www.ree.es/ingles/sistema_electrico/series_estadisticas.asp; on about 2,540 MW at the end of 2012, from REN21, op. cit. note 1, from Luis Crespo, European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA), personal communication with REN21, February 2014, from Fred Morse, Morse Associates, Inc., personal communication with REN21, February 2014, from "CSP World Map," CSP World, http://www.csp-world.com/cspworldmap, and from "CSP Today Global Tracker," CSP Today, http://social.csptoday.com/tracker/projects; and on 3,425 MW at the end of 2013. Wind power based on 120.6 GW at the end of 2008 and 283 GW at the end of 2012, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, and on 318 GW at the end of 2013. Hydropower based on an estimated 833 MW (not including pumped storage) in operation at the end of 2008 based on data from U.S. Energy nformation Administration (EIA), "Table: Hydroelectricity Installed Capacity (Million kilowatts)," www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm, viewed 11 May 2014, and adjusted downward by 20 GW to account for difference between 2011 data from EIA and from EA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2013, op. cit. note 1, and on 960 GW at the end of 2012, from IHA, Hydropower Database (unpublished), personal communication with REN21, February-March 2014, and on 1,000 GW at the end of 2013. Geothermal based on 10.3 GW in operation at the end of 2008, and about 11.5 GW at the end of 2012, from U.S. Geothermal Energy Agency (GEA), unpublished database, provided by Benjamin Matek, GEA, personal communication with REN21, March 2014, and 12 GW at the end of 2013. Solar water heaters based on 169.1 GWth capacity (not including air collectors) in operation at the end of 2008, 281.6 GWth at the end of 2012, and an est imated 326 GWth at the end of 2013, from Mauthner, op. cit. note 1, and on Mauthner and Weiss, op. cit. note 1. Biofuels based on 15.6 billion litres of biodiesel and 66 billion litres of fuel ethanol produced in 2008, 23.6 billion litres of biodiesel and 82.6 billion litres of fuel ethanol in 2012, and 26.3 billion litres of biodiesel and 87.2 billion litres of fuel ethanol in 2013, all from FO. Licht, "Fuel Ethanol: World Production, by Country (1000 cubic metres)," 2013, and FO. Licht, "Biodiesel: World Production, by Country (1000 T), 2013, from Helena Chum, U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), personal communication with REN21, May 2013 and March 2014, with permission from FO. Licht/Licht Interactive Data.

6 Sidebar 1 from the following sources: observations of GSR report authors; International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Statistical Issues: Bioenergy and Distributed Renewable Energy (Abu Dhabi: 2013), http://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/Statistical%20issues_bioenergy_and_distributed%20renewable%20_energy.pdf; United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), Global Tracking Framework (Washington, DC: 2013), http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/energy/publication/Global-Tracking-Framework-Report. The Global Tracking Framework provides a system for regular reporting overthe years leading to 2030, to monitor advances towards SE4ALL targets. Currently, the tracking framework draws from available global databases, but over the medium term, the framework aims to improve existing databases. At the regional level, initiatives include those by the ECOWAS Observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, http://www.ecowrex.org/, and the RCREEE Arab Future Energy Index, http://www.rcreee.org/projects/arab-future-energy-index%E2%84%A2-afex.

7 IEA, World Energy Outlook2013, op. cit. note 1, p. 199. Also see Bioenergy section of this report.

8 Sven Teske, Greenpeace International, personal communication with REN21,13 January 2014.

9 Eurostat, "Renewable Energy in the EU28 - Share of Renewables in Energy Consumption Up to 14% in 2012," press release (Brussels: 10 March 2014), http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/8-10032014-AP/EN/8-10032014-AP-EN.PDF.

10 Energysubsidies cause inefficient energy use and hinder investment, from World Economic Forum, The Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report 2014 (Geneva: December 2013), p. 22, http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_EN_NEA_Report_2014.pdf, and from International Monetary Fund (IMF), "Reforming Energy Subsidies Summary Note," 2013, http://www.mf.org/external/n p/f ad/su bsid ies/pdf/note.pdf.

11 Estimate of USD 544 billion to fossil fuels and USD 101 billion to renewables in 2012, from IEA, "World Energy Outlook 2013 Factsheet," http://www.iea.org/media/files/WE02013_factsheets.pdf, viewed 23 March 2014; according to the IMF, subsidies are USD 1.9 trillion if considering total post-tax subsidies, per IMF, op. cit. note 10.

12 In Latin America, for example, wind power projects are being delayed due to lack of grid infrastructure, per Gonzalo Bravo, Fundación Bariloche, personal communication with REN21, 14 January 2014; grid connection is a problem in Brazil, per "Energia Eólica: A Culpa da Chesf," Diário do Nordeste, 25 February 2014, http://www.portalabeeolica.org.br/index.php/noticias/1612-energia-eólica-a-culpa-da-chesf.html (using Google Translate); in Colombia, the cost of transmission lines required to move wind powerfrom the areas with greatest potential (in La Guajira) is a main barrierforwind power development, as is variability of the wind resource, per Javier Eduardo Rodriguez, UPME – Colombian Mining and Energy Planning Unit, personal communication with REN21, 15 April 2014; grid-connection remains a major challenge for offshore wind, particularly off Germany's coast, where 43% of the turbines installed in 2013 (or nearly 395 MW) lacked grid connection by year's end, per B. Neddermann, "German Offshore Market Growing Despite Problems with Grid Connection," DEWI Magazin, February 2014, p. 55, http://www.dewi.de/dewi/fileadmin/pdf/publications/Magazin_44/09.pdf; curtailment and inability to integrate inseveral countries, including China and India, from Shruti Shukla, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 19 March 2014.

13 Masson, op. cit. note 1; PVGrid, Initial Project Report, July 2013, http://www.pvgrid.eu/fileadmin/PV_GRID_INITIAL_REPORT_version2.1_July_2013.pdf; PV Grid, Prioritisation of Technical Solutions Available for the Integration of PV into the Distribution Grid, 26 June 2013, http://www.pvgrid.eu/fileadmin/130626_PVGRID_D3_1_Final.pdf; IEA, World Energy Outlook 2013, op. cit. note 1, p. 213; C. Mitchell et al., "Policy, Financing and Implementation," Chapter 11 in Edenhoferetal., eds., op. cit. note 1, p. 925; R. Sims et al., "Integration of Renewable Energy into Present and Future Energy Systems," Chapter 8 in idem.

14 Paolo Frankl, IEA, personal communication with REN21, 6 March 2014.

15 See, for example, Stephen Jewkes, "Enel Green Power Looks to Africa, Latin America for Growth," Reuters, 1 November 2013, http://planetark.org/wen/70282. See also all other sections of this report.

16 Frankfurt School-United Nations Environment Programme Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance (FS-UNEP Centre) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014 (Frankfurt: 2014); James Montgomery, "Third-Party Residential Solar Surging in California; Nearlya Billion-Dollar Business," Renewable Energy World, 15 February 2013, http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/02/third-party-residential-solar-surging-in-california-nearly-a-billion-dollar-business; Scott Sklar, Stella Group, personal communication with REN21, 20 February 2013; Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, German Renewable Energies Federation (BEE), personal communication with REN21, 2 May 2014.

17 SE4ALL, http://www.se4all.org/, viewed April 2014; IEA, World Energy Outlook 2013, op. cit. note 1, p. 197; Mitchell etal., op. cit. note 13, pp. 878-80.

18 See, forexample, Mitchell etal., op. cit. note 13, p. 879; accelerating economic development in rural and remote areas is emerging as a major driver for renewables in developing countries, from Shirish Garud, The Energyand Resources Institute (TERI), personal communication with REN21, 15 April 2014; job creation potential is becoming increasingly important in justifying public investments in renewable energy, per David A. Quansah, The Energy Center, Knust, Ghana, personal communication with REN21, 15 April 2014.

19 Business opportunities from International Finance Corporation (IFC), From Gap to Opportunity: Business Models for Scaling Up Energy Access (Washington, DC: 2012), http://wwwl.ifc.org/Wps/wcm/connect/b7ce4c804b5d10c58d90cfbbd578891b/ExecutiveSummary.pdf?MOD=AJPERES; new business models for all types of technologies from M. Wiemann, Alliance for Renewable Energy, personal communication with REN21, 16 April 2014.

20 Frankl, op. cit. note 14; Bravo, op. cit. note 12. Sidebar 2 from the following sources: "90% Renewable Electricity by 2015 Is Uruguay's Goal," Clean Technica, 1 January 2013, http://cleantechnica.com/2013/01/08/90-renewable-electricity-by-2015-is-uruguays-goal/; Grenada from IRENA, Renewable Readiness Assessment Grenada (Abu Dhabi: 2012), #, and from REN21 database; regional renewable energy shares from Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), Climatescope 2013 (Washington, DC: 2013), http://www.iadb.org/intal/intalcdi/PE/2013/13205en.pdf; hydrological vulnerability from Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Rethinking Our Energy Future (Washington, DC: June 2013), http://www.iadb.org/en/publications/publication-detail,7101. html?dctype=AII&dclanguage=en&id=69434; IEA, World Energy 0utlook2013, op. cit. note 1; reducing fossil fuel reliance from Caribbean Community and Common Market, Energy Policy (Georgetown, Guyana: March 2013), www.caricom.org/jsp/community_organs/energy_programme/CARICOM_energy_policy_march_2013.pdf; electrification rates (average global electrification rate is 82%)from IEA, World Energy Outlook 2013, op. cit. note 1; solar and geothermal potential based on technically feasible potential, per Monique Hoogwijk and Wina Graus, Global Potential of Renewable Energy Sources (London: ECOFYS, March 2008), http://www.ecofys.com/files/files/report_global_potential_of_renewable_energy_sources_a_literature_assessment.pdf; wind resources from IDB, op. cit. this note; non-hydro renewable potential assumes current electricity consumption of 1.3 petawatt-hour(PWh) (1 trillion kWh) and a regional non-hydro technical potential of over 80 PWh, per idem; geothermal capacity from idem; solar PV market from EPIA, Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics until 2016 (Brussels: 2012), http://large.stanford.edu/B7E2C175-E70B-491E-B969-D77E62985EFE/FinaIDownload/Downloadld-A574F187CAFD51815145012048BC7166/B7E2C175-E70B-491E-B969-D77E62985EFE/courses/2012/ph240/vidaurrel/docs/masson.pdf; solarthermal collectors from Franz Mauthner and Werner Weiss, Solar Heat Worldwide (Paris IEA, 2013), http://www.iea-shc.org/solar-heat-worldwide; Chile from Abengoa Solar, "Industrial installation of concentrating solar power in Chile," http://www.abengoasolar.com/web/en/nuestras_plantas/plantas_para_terceros/chile/index.html; Jamaica from Annabel Homer, "Agricultural drying Jamaica uses innovative solar alternative and renewable energy technologies," 21 August 2013, http://www.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/agricultural-drying-jamaica-uses-innovative-solar-alternative-and-renewable-energy-tec; Peru from Andina "Inauguran 40 secadores solares para la poscosecha de café en Satipo, Junín," 1 November 2013, http://www.andina.com.pe/espanol/noticia-inauguran-40-secadores-solares-para-poscosecha-cafe-satipo-junin-480812.aspx; Mexico from Adrián Vidal Santo et al., "Diseño y construcción de un secador solar portátil," Congreso Internacional de Investigacion, vol. 4, no. 2 (2012), http://www.uv.mx/personal/avidal/files/2013/06/Secador-Solar.pdf; urbanisation from IDB Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative, "What Do We Do?" http://www.iadb.org/en/topics/emerging-and-sustainable-cities/respond ing-to-urban-development-challenges-in-emerging-cities,6690. html, viewed February 2014; biofuel promotion from DB, Low Carbon Technologies Can Transform Latin America's Bus Fleets (Washington, DC: 25 April 2013), http://idbdocs.iadb. org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=37907926; Brazil's biofuel share from Energyand Mines Ministry, Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica, Brazil Energy Balance 2013 (Brasilia: 2013), https://ben.epe.gov.br/downloads/S%C3%ADntese%20do%20 Relat%C3%B3rio%20Final_2013_Web.pdf; regional biofuel leaders from MIF, op. cit. this note; renewable support measures from Bravo, op. cit. note 12; El Salvador issued tenders for 100 MW of wind and solar power, per BNEF, "El Salvador Solicits Bids for 100 Megawatts of Wind, Solar Power," 2 October 2013, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-02/el-salvador-solicits-bids-for-100-megawatts-of-wind-solar-power.html; Peru issued tenders for 240 MW of hydropower, per "Perú adjudica 19 proyectos generación hidroeléctrica con recursos renovables," La Information, 13 December 2013, http://noticias.lainformacion.com/economia-negocios-y-finanzas/energia-alternativa/peru-adjudica-19-proyectos-generacion-hidroelectrica-con-recursos-renovables_TbZsx0zWtSrd5zlkVxfGo6/; Brazil issued tenders for 6.124 GW of renewables, from Auction A-3 has 868 MW of wind per BNEF, "Wind Farms Dominating Brazil Power Auction Setfor Record Year," 18 November 2013, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-18/wind-farms-dominating-brazil-power-auction-set-for-record-year.html; has 4.7 GW of wind during the year per BNEF, "Brazil Energy Auction Sells 2.3 Gigawatts of Wind-Power Projects," 13 December 2013, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-13/brazil-energy-auction-sells-2-3-gigawatts-of-wind-power-projects. html; has 123 MW of solar powerfrom "Brazilian state approves 123 MW of solar developments in energy auction," PV tech, January 2014, http://www.pv-tech.org/news/brazil_gains_122mw_of_solar_developments_after_state_energy_auction; has 481.2 MW small-scale hydro and 808 MW biomass, per Brazil Energy Research Office EPE from Beatriz Monteiro, communication with Sandra Chavez, IRENA, 20 February 2014; Uruguay has 200 MW of solar power, per Alejandro Diego Rosell, "One of the lowest solar rates in the world?" PV Magazine, December 2013, http://www.pv-magazine.com/archive/articles/beitrag/one-of-the-lowest-solar-rates-in-the-world-_100013587/#axzz2rt4Y3PqY; Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, and Uruguayan have promoted net metering, per MIF, op. cit. this note; improved investment environment from Bravo, op. cit. note 12; investment commitments from BNEF, "Clean Energy Investment Falls for Second Year," press release (London: 15 February 2014), http://about.bnef.com/press-releases/clean-energy-investment-falls-for-second-year/; spread of manufacturing from MIF, op. cit. this note; factors behind development delays from Bravo, op. cit. note 12; challenges of low demand from Caribbean Community and Common Market, op. cit. this note.

21 Anna Leidreiter, World Future Council, personal communication with REN21, 10 April 2014. See also European Commission, "Siena Starts the New Year as Europe's First Carbon Free City," 22 January 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/siena-starts-new-year-carbon-free/

22 See Market and Industry Trends section.

23 U.S. International Trade Commission, Renewable Energy and Related Services: Recent Developments (Washington, DC: August 2013), Executive Summary, http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4421.pdf.

24 Backtoward profitability from FS-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 16, p. 16, and from Alessandro Marangoni, Mario lannotti, and Sofia Khametova, The Strategies of the 50 Leading Companies in the Global Renewable Energy Industry, Edition II (Milan: Althesys Strategic Consultants, 2014), Summary, http://www.althesys.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Althesys-IREX-lnternational-2014-.pdf.

25 FS-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 16.

26 Global investment in fossil fuel power capacity was USD 270 billion; however, most of this was to replace previously existing capacity, and investment in additional fossil power capacity was an estimated USD 102 billion. This compares with USD 192 billion for renewables not including hydro plants larger than 50 MW, and at least USD 227 billion if all hydro is included, from ibid., pp. 30-32.

27 Ibid., p. 13; financingfrom Michael Eckhart, CitiGroup, Inc., personal communication with REN21, 13 January 2014.

28 Louise Downing, "Record Renewable Energy Transfers Illustrate nvestors' Appetites, Utilities' Pain," Bloomberg, 1 November 2013, http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/11/record-renewable-energy-transfers-illustrate-investors-appetites-utilities-pain; for interest among institutional investors, see also Vera Eckert, "Green energy in Europe vies nowwith conventional energy: Allianz," Reuters, 26 April 2013, http://planetark.org/wen/68514; other new investors include insurance and reinsurance firms (e.g., Allianz, Munich Re), which are pouring billions of Euros into renewable energy projects, from "Green Makeover Will Be Struggle for Germany's RWE," Reuters, 1 November 2013, http://planetark.org/wen/70238; Kelvin Ross, "London Array Wind Farm the Highlight of 'Exceptional Year' for Masdar," Renewable Energy World, 24 January 2014, http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/01/london-array-wind-farm-the-highlight-of-exceptional-year-for-masdar; Sally Bakewell, "Citi Sees Capital Markets Reviving Renewables as Banks Bow Out," Bloomberg, 27 January 2014, http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/01/citi-sees-capital-markets-reviving-renewables-as-banks-bow-out; Tildy Bayar, "Trend Spotting in Renewables Investment," Renewable Energy World, May-June 2013, p. 53.

29 Use of crowd funding in China from Eric Ng, "Solar Farm Taps Crowd Fundingfor 10 m Yuan Project," South China Morning Post, 20 February 2014, http://www.scmp.com/business/commodities/article/1431397/solar-farm-taps-crowd-funding-10m-yuan-project; Africa and Asia from Felicity Carus, "Crowdfunding Aims to Prove that Solar Power in a Bankable Sector," The Guardian, 20 December 2013, http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/crowdfunding-solar-power-bankable-sector; risk-guarantee schemes from FranckJesus, Global Environment Facility (GEF), personal communication with REN21, 16 April 2014. See also FS-UNEP Centreand BNEF, op. cit. note 16.

30 See Distributed Renewable Energy in Developing Countries section.