Fifth of global electricity generated from renewables

Renewable energy accounted for 23% – or 4,892TWh – of all electricity generation globally last year, new figures reveal. The amount of renewable power capacity installed around the world doubled […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Renewable energy accounted for 23% – or 4,892TWh – of all electricity generation globally last year, new figures reveal.

The amount of renewable power capacity installed around the world doubled between 2000 and 2012 from 784GW to 1,470GW.

The statistics from the US Department of Energy show wind and solar power are the fastest growing renewable technologies.

A total of $103 billion (£62.6bn) was invested in renewable energy globally last year, its report suggests.

While Germany led the world in the amount of solar PV installed (32.4GW) in 2012, US leads in geothermal and biomass while China is ahead in wind power.

When lumping renewables together, the top nations with green power capacity last year were China, US, Brazil, Canada and Germany.

China installed 75.3GW of wind capacity in 2012, followed by the US, Germany, Spain, India and the UK brought up the rear with 8.5GW of installations.

The US saw wind increase more than 23 fold between 2000 and 2012 however no commercial offshore wind turbines have been commissioned in the nation so far, the report said. The first one is expected to be commissioned in 2016.

Manufacturers in the US currently have a small share of the worldwide PV market but Asian, particularly Chinese, manufacturers are in the lead with nearly 85% of the global PV production.