Renewable energy has clearly become mainstream since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997, with investment flows exceeding $100 billion in 2007. This summary report provides an update on the current status of renewable energy globally. In particular, the report provides figures on current trends in solar, geothermal, biomass, wind and hydroelectric development. The main highlights from the report include:
investment in new capacity for renewable energy has increased from $8 billion in 1997 to $66 billion in 2007
wind power now receives the largest share of investment annually of any renewable energy technology. It has grown at 25-30% per year since 2000, and will reach at least 93 GW cumulative capacity in 2007. Over 70 countries now have wind power, and many developing countries have recently joined the trend
small hydropower, biomass and geothermal power have all increased
grid-tied solar PV continues to grow at 50-60% annually and Germany, Japan, Spain, Italy, South Korea and the US states of California and New Jersey continue to dominate this market
annual biofuel production, dominated by the US and Brazil, will exceed 50 billion litres this year (ethanol and biodiesel), about 3% of global gasoline consumption
targets for future shares or amounts of renewable energy now exist in at least 58 countries worldwide, including 13 developing countries, all EU countries, and in many states/provinces in the US and Canada
The report concludes that the current upward trend in renewable energy production and investment is projected to continue as the cost of renewable technologies continues to decline.