A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that global clean power production will expand by more than 40 percent by 2017.
According to the IEA’s Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2012, renewable power production will expand by 1,840 terawatt hours (Twh) over the next five years compared to 2011 levels. The agency expects 710 GW of extra renewable capacity will be added, with growth most pronounced in new markets outside the OECD. China will account for nearly 40 percent of the new power, while India and Brazil expect to see significant increases in renewables. The US and Germany will also play an integral role.
“This growth is underpinned by the maturing of a portfolio of renewable energy technologies, in large part due to supportive policy and market frameworks in OECD countries,” the report stated.
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Hydropower will account for some 730 Twh of the foreseen extra production—the largest single driver of clean energy generation. Onshore wind, bio-energy and solar PV will also see significant growth.
"Renewable energy is expanding rapidly as technologies mature, with deployment transitioning from support-driven markets to new and potentially more competitive segments in many countries," IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven says.
Of course, much of renewable energy expansion will depend on economic variables, changes to government support and financing.