Revision of Renewable Energy from Sun, 07/31/2011 - 23:46

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Renewable energy supplies 19 percent of global final energy consumption, counting traditional biomass, large hydro power, and “new” renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels). Renewable Energy Share of Global Energy Consumption

Of this 19 percent, traditional biomass, used primarily for cooking and heating, accounts for approximately 13 percent and is growing slowly or even declining in some regions as biomass is used more efficiently or is replaced by more modern energy forms. Hydropower represents 3.2 percent and is growing modestly but from a large base. Other renewables account for 2.6 percent and are growing very rapidly in developed countries and in some developing countries. Renewable energy replaces conventional fuels in four distinct markets: power generation, hot water and space heating, transport fuels, and rural (off-grid) energy services. Renewable Energy Global renewable energy capacity grew at rates of 10–60 percent annually for many technologies during the five year period from the end of 2004 through 2009. For many renewable technologies, such as wind power, growth accelerated in 2009 relative to the previous four years. More wind power capacity was added during 2009 than any other renewable technology. Grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV), however, increased the fastest of all renewables technologies, with a 60-percent annual average growth rate for the five-year period. Biofuels also grew rapidly, at a 20-percent annual average rate for ethanol and a 51-percent annual average for biodiesel (reflecting its lower production levels), although growth rates began declining later in the period. Other technologies—including hydropower, biomass power and heat, and geothermal power—are growing at more ordinary rates of 3–6 percent, making them comparable with global growth rates for fossil fuels (3–5 percent, although higher in some developing countries). In several countries, however, the growth in these other renewables technologies far exceeds the global average.