Ren21 Newsletter: Renewables 2013 Global Status Report

Jay Owen Resource Efficiency

Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century

June 2013

In This Issue

– News: REN21 Secretariat
– News: EN21 Network
– Upcoming Events

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Dear reader,

REN21’s June newsletter 2013 reaches you at a moment of exciting and yet challenging times: the upcoming REN21 Global Status Report will again showcase an impressive increase in global capacity across all renewable energy sectors, with supporting policies spreading simultaneously; investment in renewable energy significantly increased in developing countries in 2012 while globally it decreased due to reduced technology costs and policy instability in some industrialised countries. New renewable energy markets emerged in many parts of the world such as in the MENA region as impressively highlighted in the recently launched MENA Regional Status Report. 

Concurrently, the international financial crisis and on-going tensions in international trade have challenged some renewable energy industries, particularly solar PV and wind turbine manufacturers. The emergence of shale gas in the US brings a new dynamic to the energy market.

May saw the launch of the SE4All Global Tracking Framework Report, produced by a consortium of international agencies, including REN21. This framework will be used to measure progress on all three SE4All objectives: universal access to modern energy services; doubling of both the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.

Given that the current share of renewable energy in final energy consumption contains a large proportion of traditional biomass (often used unsustainably) reaching the SE4All renewables objective will require a tripling of all forms of modern sustainable renewables. Several studies clearly show that the SE4All objectives are achievable however, not by continuing a business-as-usual approach but rather by a fundamental shift of the world’s energy system that addresses both demand and supply as exemplified by Germany’s “Energiewende” (energy transition) which just celebrated its first anniversary. This shift is vital given recent news that the world has world recently passed 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2—potentially enough to trigger a warming of 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels. Phasing-out of fossil-fuel subsidies is a key enabling factor of this shift, as stressed at UNIDO’s Vienna Energy Forum 2013 where leading decision-makers convened from around the world. The renewable energy industry is ready to deliver as recently demonstrated at REN21’s session on complementarities of different renewable energy sources at the IHA’s World Congress on Advancing Sustainable Hydropower.

Stay tuned to REN21 for the latest developments on renewable energy and featured specifically in this year’s Renewables Global Status Report to be launched on June 12th!

Christine Lins

Executive Secretary of REN21

News from the REN21 Secretariat

GSR Sneak Peaks!
It’s that time of year again: time for the Renewables 2013 Global Status Report. In anticipation, here is a sneak peak: 2012 saw a shift in investment patterns that led to a global decrease in clean energy investment while installed capacity continued to grow due to significant technology cost reductions and simultaneously an increase in investment in developing countries. Renewables progressively supplemented established electricity systems, demonstrating that the implementation of suitable policies can enable the successful integration of higher shares of variable renewables than was originally thought possible. 2012 also saw the emergence of integrated policy approaches that link energy efficiency measures with the implementation of renewable energy technologies. Read about these developments and much, much more.The full report will be released June 12th. Mark your calendars!

An Emerging Renewable Energy Champion 
The  MENA Renewables Status Report was released June 4th, 2013 conjointly by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), REN21, and the United Arab Emirates as an outcome of  ADIREC 2013.  The report provides unparalleled insights into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, an emerging renewable energy champion. It reveals massive growth in the MENA renewable energy markets: regional investment topped US2.9 billion in 2012, up 40% from 2011 and 650% from 2004.  There are currently over 100 projects under development with an anticipated 450% increase of non-hydro renewable energy generating capacity over the next few years. The report also provides an overview of the region’s renewable energy markets, industry, policy and investment trends, drawing on the most recent data provided by over 50 regional contributors and researchers.


The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)  “Global Tracking Framework Report” was released May 28th, 2013.  The report, written by a multi-agency team led by the World Bank, the International Energy Agency with contributions from REN21, will serve as a baseline to monitor progress in reaching all three SE4ALL objectives (universal access to modern energy services, doubling of both the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix) and identifies countries with the most potential to make “high impact” progress on sustainable energy.  Furthermore the report specifies policy measures to scale-up action. It also calls on countries, international organisations, private sector investors and civil society to increase energy investments focused on the three objectives by at least $600 billion a year until 2030, more than doubling the current estimated $409 billion. 

Global Discussions about Renewable Energy Futures

Our thinking about the future of renewable energy is out of date. It’s not 1990 anymore,” says Dr. Eric Martinot when introducing the REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report (GFR). Since its release in January 2013 the report’s findings have been presented  at over 50 speaking events in the US, Europe and Japan. The report dispels myths that persist about renewable energy, and underscores that given current trends and future projections and shows a future that is at odds with conventional thinking. The events have inspired lively exchanges with discussions about the evolution of future policies, particularly those needed to integrate large shares of renewables. Report findings have been presented at a wide variety of events, including an event hosted at the UN headquarters in New York, a seminar at the Worldbank/GEF, student audiences at MIT and the University of Colordo and as part of a keynote address at the 2013 “Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy” conference.  A talk at TEDx Tokyo focused on how reform of Japan’s power sector can lead to increased penetration of renewables. Click here for the full report and videos of selected events. 

New REN21 Team Member 
Laura E. Williamson recently joined the REN21 Secretariat where she will reinforce the team in the field of communication and outreach. Laura joins us from HELIO International where she was responsible for developing and managing the organisation’s work on energy and climate as well as coordinating HELIO’s network of energy experts. Prior to HELIO, she was with United Nations Environment Programme where she worked on industry and sustainable development issues. You can contact Laura directly at: [email protected]

News from the REN21 Network

Launch of Energy Storage Campaign

The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) is organising an Energy Storage WorkshopJune 20th.  The workshop is part of ARE’s Energy Storage Campaign which facilitates the transition of developing countries and emerging markets to a technology that ensures the provision of reliable electricity services.  The Energy Storage workshop, an official Intersolar Europe Conference Side Event, will be held in collaboration with ARE members and industry experts and will look at energy storage and rural electrification issues. At its traditional Networking Reception, off-grid stakeholders will have the opportunity to network, exchange information, ideas and experiences in an informal atmosphere. For further information on the agenda and registration, please visit this link.

Monitoring Renewable Policy Effectiveness 

Close to 80% of the world’s energy supply could be generated from renewables by mid-century. For this to happen the right enabling public policies must be in place. But how do we measure and monitor their effectiveness? What can we learn from Brazil’s experience as one of the first emerging countries to refocus its national energy strategies toward renewable energy? And from South Africa’s commitment to developing 42% of additional capacity in renewable by 2030? These are some of the questions posed in UNEP DTIE’s: Assessing the effectiveness of policies to support renewable energy“. The report uses a Policy Effectiveness Indicator (PEI). Results from this indicator demonstrate the importance of monitoring policy effectiveness. While there is no “one-size-fits all” approach, a number of policy-design principles exist, which can dramatically increase the effectiveness and efficiency of renewable energy policies. Click here to download a copy of the report or here for more information on UNEP’s Energy work.

Global Wind Report Released

The Global Wind Energy Council’s  Global Wind Report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the global wind industry as well as a five-year forecast (2013-2017). The report includes 20, country-specific chapters, including a first-ever focus on the Ukraine and Pakistan as well as a special chapter on local content requirements, which continue to be a problem in a growing number of markets. Although policy uncertainty in the main OECD markets is a cause for concern, strong markets in China, India and Brazil, as well as the emergence of new markets in Latin America, Africa and throughout Asia will drive global growth over the next five years. Get your digital copy of the report here. More information on GWEC can be found on FacebookTwitterPinterest,  GWEC website and at Global Wind Day, to be held June 15th!

Wind for Power Generation

WWEA recently presented its 2012 World Wind Energy Report. In 2012 Iceland became the 100th country to use wind power and sees wind  as the third pillar of its electricity generation system, which is already based 100 % on renewable energy (currently geothermal and hydropower).  The report also notes that 2012 saw the addition of 44,609 MW, making it the largest amount ever and bringing worldwide wind capacity to 282,275 MW. The capacity of wind turbines installed in 2012 can collectively provide 580 Terawatthours per annum, more than 3 % of the global electricity demand. Despite only 19.2 % growth in the power sector (the lowest rate in more than a decade) the sector had a turnover of 60 billion Euro (75 billion USD equivalent). WWEA expects a global capacity of more than 500,000 MW by 2016 with 1,000,000 MW possible by 2020. For more details consult the full report.

European Solar Prize Now Open for Entries

EUROSOLAR, in collaboration with KfW-Bankengruppe, recognises important and innovative achievements in promoting widespread use of renewable energy through the annual European Solar Prize.  Now in its 20th year, the Solar Prize is one of the oldest and most prestigious renewable energy awards. Applications and proposals are accepted until June 30th, 2013. The recipients will be celebrated at a festive gathering at the end of the year. Both those applications received by EUROSOLAR directly, and those proposals selected from submissions at the national levels will be submitted to the judges. The winners of the European Solar Prize will be chosen from the combined applicant pool. Click here  for information on how to enter, to find the online entry form or to know more about the previous winners.

Best Practices in Geothermal Exploration 

Geothermal Exploration Best Practices: A Guide to Resource Data Collection, Analysis, and Presentation for Geothermal Projects” is aimed at potential developers.  The Guide outlines various methodologies and strategies used in geothermal exploration power generation. A typical geothermal development process from preliminary surveying through to power plant development is outlined. The guide was launched March 27th, 2013 by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the Word Bank Group, together with theInternational Geothermal Association in Istanbul, Turkey. Give the guide a read!

Fact Sheet on Biofuels for Transport

“Biofuels for Transport” is the latest fact sheet published by the World Bioenergy Association (WBA). This informational sheet highlights the complexity of biofuels as well as interlinked issues such as the production of biofuels and increased protein production. WBA’s fact sheets provide objective and up-to-date information to decision-makers on bioenergy opportunities. A compilation of these fact sheets will be available in a special edition of the WBA magazine ‘Bioenergy’ due out October 2013 . Two new fact sheets—‘Biogas’ and on ‘Road to 100% renewables’— will also be included in this publication. Click here for the biofuel factsheet. The Biofuels for Transport press release is available here.

Australia’s Clean Energy Week 2013 & Clean Energy Australia Report 2012

The Australian clean energy industry is facing a year full of exciting opportunities as well as the challenges that come with rapid growth. The move to cleaner energy is now part of a strengthening global trend. Against this backdrop, the Clean Energy Council is proud to host Australia’s premier annual event for the industry, and by the industry. The Clean Energy Week conference provides a vital opportunity for key industry players, policy-makers, executives and businesses to meet and share information. This year Clean Energy Week will be held in Brisbane, Queensland, July 24-26th.   Visit their website for more information. 

The Clean Energy Council has also just released The Clean Energy Australia Report 2012, which contains a comprehensive overview of the Australian renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors from 2012, as well as key figures and statistics on the energy market. Some of the highlights from the report include the generation of 13.14% of Australia’s electricity from renewable sources in 2012–a new record. There was also $4.2 billion in investment generated over the year and 24,300 people employed in the clean energy industry. The report can be downloaded here.

EU Sustainable Energy Week 2013 
The next edition of the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will take place June 24-28th, 2013. The EUSEW is a European Commission initiative that was first held in 2006.  Hundreds of organisations and individuals participate annually. Through bottom-up efforts, organisers of EUSEW Energy Days—which includes events and activities—connect directly with citizens and energy stakeholders at local, regional and national levels. The combined results of EUSEW efforts are helping Europe reach its energy goals.  REN21, in cooperation with the European Commission will host an outreach event on its Global Statue Report afternoon of June 26th. For more information about the event,  contact us. For more information about the EUSEW click here.

Renewable Energy Finance Forum Starting Soon!

REFF Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  It will take place in New York June 25-26th, 2013. This annual event attracts over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field. REFF-Wall Street 2013 will address the rapidly changing state of renewable energy finance, and give insights about the path ahead. You can register for the event here.

Upcoming Events – 2013 

European Geothermal Energy Congress 2013
Pisa, Italy,June 3-7 2013 |Event details

Asia Clean Energy Forum (ADB)
Manila, Philippines, 24-28 June 2013 |Event details

EU Sutainable Energy Week
Brussels, Belgium, 24-28 June 2013| Event details

REFF-Wall Street 2013
New York, USA, 25-26 June 2013 |Event details

Australia Clean Energy Week 2013
Brisbane, Australia, 24-26 July 2013 |Event details

Brazil Wind Power 2013
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3-5 September 2013 |Event details

Cape Town, South Africa, 25-27 September 2013 |Event details

28th EU PVSEC 2013
Paris, France, 28 September – 4 October 2013 |Event details

China Wind Power 2013
Beijing, China, 16-18 October 2013 |Event details

Local Renewables 2013 Conference
Freiburg, Germany, 24-25 October 2013 |Event details

ISES Conference (ISES)
Cancun, Mexico, 3-8 November 2013 |Event details

8th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition (IRES 2013)
Berlin, Germany 18-20 November 2013 |Event details