According to the second annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report – power generation from hydro, wind, solar and other renewable sources worldwide will exceed that from gas and be twice that from nuclear by the year 2016. The report is released by the International Energy Agency. The report shows renewable power is expected to increase by 40-percent in the next five years despite a difficult economic context. Renewables are the fastest-growing power generation sector. They will make up nearly a quarter of the global power mix by 2018. That’s an increase from an estimated 20-percent in 2011. The share of non-hydro sources like wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal in total power generation will double – reaching eight-percent by 2018.
IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven presented the report in New York at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum. She said renewable power sources – as their costs continue to fall – are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil fuel generation. Van der Hoeven says that’s good news for a global energy system that needs to become cleaner and more diversified. But that shouldn’t be an excuse for government complacency. According to Van der Hoeven – policy uncertainty is public enemy number one for investors. She said renewables still need long-term policies that provide a predictable and reliable market and regulatory framework compatible with societal goals. Van der Hoeven also pointed out that worldwide subsidies for fossil fuels remain six times higher than economic incentives for renewables.