IEA Measures and Defines the Role of Renewables in Energy Mix

(Paris) — 18 December 2002

In recent years, renewable energy has become an energy policy priority for all IEA Member countries. Most have now set clear targets for the penetration of renewable energy in their total primary energy supply (TPES). The World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg further confirmed the role of renewables for both OECD and non-OECD countries. But considerable differences in definitions and a lack of adequate data became apparent, and these shortcomings complicated discussions among stakeholders on the role of renewable energy.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) presents:

  • a fact sheet: Renewables in Global Energy Supply
  • a database of renewable energy statistics in published form: Renewables Information 2002
  • and in electronic form, with powerful search capability: the Renewables Information Database

The fact sheet, Renewables in Global Energy Supply, presents in simple form the main elements of the current renewable energy situation. It shows the contribution of renewables in the TPES, the role they play in world electricity production and the outlook for their global development. Renewables Information 2002 is the IEA’s first publication in the IEAs statistical series on renewable energy in OECD countries. It provides a comprehensive range of statistics and focuses on electricity and heat production, supply and final consumption, as well as installed capacity of renewables and waste sources in the 30 OECD Member countries. It shows that in 2000, renewables and waste sources accounted for 13.8 per cent of the world TPES. The share of the OECD Member countries in the global renewables supply was approximately 24 per cent.

The dispersion of renewables and waste production, notably that of off-grid production (such as domestic solar collectors) creates transparency and measurement problems for national administrations when gathering statistics. Renewables Information 2002 defines, clarifies and classifies renewables and wastes energy statistics. It includes notes on energy sources, country notes, geographical coverage and conversion tables. Renewables Information 2002 is a new publication that will be produced annually and provides statistics that have been brought together from diverse sources. Since this report constitutes ‘work in progress,’ addressing the need for further development of reliable statistics on renewable energy, the IEA wishes to attract the widest possible review and therefore this report is provided at no cost.

The statistics contained in Renewables Information 2002 are also available online, in the Renewables Information Database, which is available on the IEA Website (see details below). The Database features an advanced search facility and is highly interactive. Renewables Information 2002 and the Renewables Information Database are the result of several years of work involving the collection and verification of the data and of harmonisation between the IEA and the Eurostat databases, national publications and other ad-hoc studies. They contain detailed statistical information on renewable and waste products for the 30 member countries of the OECD and for regional aggregates (OECD Total, IEA Total, OECD North America, IEA North America, OECD Europe, IEA Europe, OECD/IEA Pacific and European Union).