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Portal:Renewable energy

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Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy often provides energy in four important areas: electricity generation, air and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural (off-grid) energy services.

Based on REN21's 2017 report, renewables contributed 19.3% to humans' global energy consumption and 24.5% to their generation of electricity in 2015 and 2016, respectively. This energy consumption is divided as 8.9% coming from traditional biomass, 4.2% as heat energy (modern biomass, geothermal and solar heat), 3.9% from hydroelectricity and the remaining 2.2% is electricity from wind, solar, geothermal, and other forms of biomass. Worldwide investments in renewable technologies amounted to more than US$286 billion in 2015. In 2017, worldwide investments in renewable energy amounted to US$279.8 billion with China accounting for US$126.6 billion or 45% of the global investments, the United States for US$40.5 billion and Europe for US$40.9 billion. Globally there are an estimated 7.7 million jobs associated with the renewable energy industries, with solar photovoltaics being the largest renewable employer. Renewable energy systems are rapidly becoming more efficient and cheaper and their share of total energy consumption is increasing. As of 2019, more than two-thirds of worldwide newly installed electricity capacity was renewable. Growth in consumption of coal and oil could end by 2020 due to increased uptake of renewables and natural gas.

At the national level, at least 30 nations around the world already have renewable energy contributing more than 20 percent of energy supply. National renewable energy markets are projected to continue to grow strongly in the coming decade and beyond. Some places and at least two countries, Iceland and Norway, generate all their electricity using renewable energy already, and many other countries have the set a goal to reach 100% renewable energy in the future. At least 47 nations around the world already have over 50 percent of electricity from renewable resources. Renewable energy resources exist over wide geographical areas, in contrast to fossil fuels, which are concentrated in a limited number of countries. Rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies is resulting in significant energy security, climate change mitigation, and economic benefits. In international public opinion surveys there is strong support for promoting renewable sources such as solar power and wind power.

While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas and developing countries, where energy is often crucial in human development.[needs update] As most of renewable energy technologies provide electricity, renewable energy deployment is often applied in conjunction with further electrification, which has several benefits: electricity can be converted to heat, can be converted into mechanical energy with high efficiency, and is clean at the point of consumption. In addition, electrification with renewable energy is more efficient and therefore leads to significant reductions in primary energy requirements.

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Mechanized harvesting of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), Piracicaba, São Paulo.
The history of ethanol fuel in Brazil dates from the 1970s and relates to Brazil's sugarcane-based ethanol fuel program, which allowed the country to become the world's second largest producer of ethanol, and the world's largest exporter. Several important political and technological developments led Brazil to become the world leader in the sustainable use of bioethanol, and a policy model for other developing countries in the tropical zone of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Government policies and technological advances also allowed the country to achieve a landmark in ethanol consumption, when ethanol retail sales surpassed 50% market share of the gasoline-powered vehicle fleet in early 2008. This level of ethanol fuel consumption had only been reached in Brazil once before, at the peak of the Pró-Álcool Program near the end of the 1980s. Read more...
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  • "Renewable energy is proving to be commercially viable for a growing list of consumers and uses. Renewable energy technologies provide many benefits that go well beyond energy alone. More and more, renewable energies are contributing to the three pillars of sustainable development – the economy, the environment and social well-being – not only in IEA countries, but globally."
  • "Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. In its various forms, it derives directly from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources."

International Energy Agency, Renewable energy... into the mainstream, 2002.


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View of a photovoltaic panel installation in Parc del Forum, Barcelona, Spain
Photovoltaic panel installation in Parc del Forum, Barcelona, Spain

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Hans-Josef Fell
Hans-Josef Fell (born 7 January 1952 in Hammelburg, German) was a member of the German Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/ the Greens from 1998 to 2013. He served as spokesman on energy for the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group, a member of the Environmental Protection Committee, substitute member of the Committee on Economics and Technology and substitute member of the Defence Committee. Together with Hermann Scheer, he authored the 2000 draft of the Renewable Energy Sources Act, establishing the foundation for the technology developments in photovoltaic, biogas, wind power and geothermal energy in Germany. Fell is founder and president of the Energy Watch Group and an internationally renowned energy and climate change advisor, author and speaker. Read more...

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... that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) in May 2011 ? The IPCC examined renewable energy and energy efficiency in its fourth assessment report, published in 2007, but members have now decided that renewable energy commercialization merits in-depth coverage because of its importance in reducing carbon emissions.

Related portals

Main topics

Renewable energy sources

Renewable energy by country

List of countries by electricity production from renewable sources


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