Renewables Statistics

Comprehensive historical review and current market trends in renewable energy

The IEA's Renewables Information provides a comprehensive review of historical and current market trends in OECD countries, including 2018 provisional data. It provides an overview of the development of renewables and waste in the world over 1990 to 2017, with some 2018 provisional data for some non-OECD countries.


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Since 1990, renewable energy sources have grown at an average annual rate of 2.0%, which is slightly higher than the growth rate of world TPES, 1.7%.

Growth has been especially high for solar PV and wind power, which grew at average annual rates of 37.0% and 23.4% respectively. Biogases had the third highest growth rate at 11.9%, followed by solar thermal (11.2%) and liquid biofuels (9.7%).

	Average annual growth rate
Total TPES	1.7
Renewables	2
Solar PV	37
Wind	23.4
Biogases	11.9
Solar thermal	11.2
Liquid biofuels         	9.7
Geothermal	3.5
Hydro	2.4
Solid biofuels/Charcoal	1
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Renewables showed a larger increase in average annual growth from 2000 to 2018 at 3.2% than from 1990 to 2000 at 1.7%. Higher growth rates were seen in modern renewables, such as solar PV, wind, liquid biofuels, biogases and solar thermal.

	Average annual growth rate
Total TPES	0.1
Renewable	3.2
Solar PV	40.1
Wind                    	19.9
Liquid biofuels	16.7
Biogases	8
Solar thermal	5.6
Solid biofuels/charcoal	1.6
Geothermal	1.3
Hydro	0.4
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In comparison, solid biofuels and hydro influenced much of renewables growth between 1990 and 2000. Despite this, the contribution of modern renewables to the total energy supply is still minor. The combined share of liquid biofuels, wind, solar, biogases, renewable municipal waste, and tidal still represents only 3.7% of total primary energy supply. Nevertheless, the share of modern renewables in OECD countries out of all renewables increased dramatically from 3.1% in 1990 to 35.7% in 2018.

	Hydro	Solid Biofuels/Charcoal	Geothermal	Solar, wind, tidal	Renewable municipal waste, liquid biofuels, biogases
1990	101911	135490	26455	2268	6099
1991	104645	138477	26933	2322	6655
1992	104134	145329	28230	2363	7143
1993	110455	140126	29171	2500	9734
1994	106400	141850	28711	2699	10537
1995	113946	146366	27678	2762	11575
1996	116759	150301	29317	2885	11670
1997	116708	149660	28652	3179	12799
1998	113483	152363	29550	3478	13643
1999	113350	148866	30170	5479	16453
2000	115316	150960	30354	6371	18013
2001	106823	142843	29533	6896	18755
2002	110904	144453	24916	8166	21590
2003	108947	152373	26526	9027	24193
2004	111578	157593	26983	10730	27585
2005	112042	165676	27842	12326	31805
2006	113887	165777	28123	14590	38929
2007	110676	168587	29806	17911	47032
2008	115160	169386	27342	22098	56018
2009	114557	165429	28320	26256	62614
2010	116791	179719	29247	32044	67916
2011	119860	174356	30314	40408	72648
2012	119989	183532	30067	47811	81378
2013	122021	192901	31325	56604	86572
2014	120846	190054	33085	63688	90155
2015	119086	189594	34649	73117	92608
2016	121547	187831	35741	80059	95824
2017	120503	192267	37048	91897	98158
2018p	122926	199851	38463	101453	99083
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Transformation


Renewables are the second largest contributor to global electricity production. They accounted for 24.5% of world generation in 2017, after coal and ahead of gas, nuclear and oil.

Historically, the relative positions of renewables and natural gas have been influenced by various factors, including weather conditions. Policies which favour renewables over fossil fuels have also contributed to the increasing importance of renewables in world electricity production.

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In the OECD, hydro power production makes up the largest share of renewable sources in power production – but it had the lowest average growth rate of any renewable electricity source from 1990 to 2018. Wind grew from 0.3% in 1990 to 26.0% of renewable electricity in 2018, a 20.7% average annual growth rate, making it the second largest renewable source for electricity.

The share of solar PV in OECD renewable electricity production had a 33.9% average annual growth rate in the same time period.

	Growth rate
Total	1.32
Hydro	0.67
Non-Hydro Renewables	8.66
Solar PV	33.91
Wind	20.696
Biogases	11.73
Renewable municipal waste	5.23
Solid biofuels	2.42
Geothermal	2.32
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From 1990 to 2017, the renewable shares of generating capacities for OECD countries have increased and the average annual growth rates of renewables and waste generating capacities (3.7%) have outpaced the average annual growth rates of non-renewable generating capacities (1.4%).

	Combustible fossil fuels and other	Nuclear	Hydro	Non-hydro renewables and waste
1990	1335.559	269.521	377.0552	24.50814
1991	1366.757	271.937	383.1599	23.86248
1992	1384.937	275.201	391.1834	25.05215
1993	1406.568	282.63	396.3109	26.43067
1994	1457.529	293.357	403.8051	27.73675
1995	1482.501	298.704	412.2064	29.39955
1996	1516.43	304.097	414.1644	31.83126
1997	1538.07	305.63	417.3959	32.97075
1998	1548.469	301.358	419.152	35.54033
1999	1585.494	305.162	423.5988	41.06966
2000	1613.712	305.109	426.7776	46.281
2001	1660.651	306.098	427.7733	53.9908
2002	1735.411	310.595	432.0805	62.60448
2003	1796.286	309.713	433.4685	71.43844
2004	1829.985	313.841	436.3789	81.39369
2005	1851.378	316.239	439.6392	96.74397
2006	1870.51	315.824	443.2992	112.8309
2007	1890.743	314.905	447.2772	130.3074
2008	1912.742	314.164	449.8953	156.92
2009	1935.367	314.074	453.011	193.0186
2010	1970.041	313.554	456.779	228.508
2011	1982.075	315.187	462.1518	278.9782
2012	1972.362	306.663	466.492	334.9975
2013	1956.704	302.509	471.4062	374.0247
2014	1970.009	302.419	475.479	416.9699
2015	1941.099	299.883	484.1454	471.5535
2016	1929.692	301.81	490.1321	530.6428
2017	1933.695	297.7696	492.3833	583.2133
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Consumption


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In the OECD, the majority of the consumption of renewables has been in the transformation sector for the last three decades. In the other sectors, there has been a diversification of renewables demand, with the most significant trend being the steep growth of biofuels used for transport. In 2017, liquid biofuels and biogases used for transport constituted 10.5% of renewables consumption.

	Electricity plants	Combined heat & power plants	Heat plants	Other	Industry	Transport	Residential, Commercial & Public
1990	138531.3965	32047.8642	2004.2757	402.0544	35209.9781	5.7471	64170.4223
2017	274540	45503.3939	7739.5111	1728.4006	69530.9884	56732.2085	84043
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