Renewables


Renewable energy is at the centre of the transition to a less carbon-intensive and more sustainable energy system. Renewables have grown rapidly in recent years, accompanied by sharp cost reductions for solar photovoltaics and wind power in particular. The electricity sector remains the brightest spot for renewables with the exponential growth of solar photovoltaics and wind in recent years, and building on the significant contribution of hydropower generation. But, electricity accounts for only a fifth of global energy consumption, and the role of renewables in the transportation and heating sectors remains critical to the energy transition.

 
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		"text": "Shares of renewables in electricity, heat and transport 2017 and 2023"
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Source: Renewables 2018

In the Renewables 2018 forecasts, the share of renewables in meeting global energy demand is expected to grow by one-fifth in the next five years to reach 12.4% in 2023.

Renewables will have the fastest growth in the electricity sector, providing almost 30% of power demand in 2023, up from 24% in 2017. During this period, renewables are forecast to meet more than 70% of global electricity generation growth, led by solar PV and followed by wind, hydropower, and bioenergy. A modest increase in the share of renewable heat is foreseen, as robust growth in total heat demand is expected to result from continuous economic and population growth. Renewables in transport have the lowest contribution of all three sectors, with their share growing only minimally from 3.4% in 2017 to 3.8% in 2023. Although they expand by almost one-fifth over the forecast period, renewables cover only a small portion of all energy demand in transport because of ongoing petroleum product consumption

The IEA provides in-depth market analysis, policy advice and technology insights to facilitate a rapid scale-up in renewables deployment across the electricity, heat and transport sectors. The IEA works closely with governments, industry partners and the IEA’s Technology Collaboration Programmes. The system integration of variable renewable energy sources is a key focus of our work, with major contributions to global fora such as the Clean Energy Ministerial, the G7 and the G20.

The IEA provides in-depth market analysis, policy advice and technology insights to facilitate a rapid scale-up in renewables deployment across the electricity, heat and transport sectors. The IEA works closely with governments, industry partners and the IEA’s Technology Collaboration Programmes. The system integration of variable renewable energy sources is a key focus of our work, with major contributions to global fora such as the Clean Energy Ministerial, the G7 and the G20.

Our work on Renewables