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Global Status Report Shows Renewables Making Advances

The nonprofit Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) released its Global Status Report covering 2015 developments. The annual report covers the renewable energy market, industry and policy trends. The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, COP 21, highlighted the need for renewable energy to displace current GHG-generating sources of energy.

China led the investment in renewable power and fuels, with the United States and Japan following. China also led in hydropower, wind, and solar photovoltaic capacity. Although global biodiesel production is down from 2014 levels, the U.S. led in biodiesel and fuel ethanol production, followed in both cases by Brazil.

The global new investment in renewable power and fuels in 2015 was higher than the previous record set in 2011, at $285.9 billion. This is more than what the global investment in new coal and natural gas-fired power generation was in 2015. Solar is the biggest area of investment, with 56 percent of global renewable energy dollars going toward solar. Wind power was the secondary focus in 2015, with 38 percent of new investments. These gains were achieved even during a year when crude oil prices dropped. [June 23, 2016]

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