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REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century) is a global renewable energy policy multi-stakeholder network that connects a wide range of key actors. REN21’s goal is to facilitate knowledge exchange, policy development and joint action towards a rapid global transition to renewable energy. REN21 brings together governments, non-governmental organisations, research and academic institutions, international organisations and industry to learn from one another and build on successes that advance renewable energy. To assist policy decision-making, REN21 provides high-quality information, catalyses discussion and debate, and supports the development of thematic networks. REN21 facilitates the collection of comprehensive and timely information on renewable energy. This information reflects diverse viewpoints from both private and public sector actors, serving to dispel myths about renewable energy and to catalyse policy change. It does this through six product lines: Renewables Global Status Report (GSR): Regional Reports; Renewables Interactive Map; Global Futures Reports (GFR); Renewables Academy; International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC).

The REN21 Secretariat is based at UN Environment in Paris, France, and is a registered non-profit association under German law (e.V.). The organisation has more than 60 members and with its governance structure consists of the Bureau, the Steering Committee and REN21 Members.


REN21 was launched in June 2004 as an outcome of the International Conference for Renewable Energies in Bonn, Germany. Paul Hugo Suding, was the first Executive Secretary upon REN21’s formation in 2006. He was succeeded by Virginia Sonntag O'Brien (2008-2011). Christine Lins was Executive Secretary 2011-2018. The current Executive Secretary is Rana Adib.



The Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) is the flagship product of REN21 and is released on a yearly basis, giving a status report of the deployment of renewable technologies globally. The GSR has been produced since 2005 and includes the three sectors power, heating & cooling and transport, reporting on policy development, energy industry, investment and market. The report is based on data and information produced by the REN21 member network of more than 800 experts and researchers from around the world. The GSR is openly peer-reviewed by the expert and research community, which contributes to the high transparency of the report. Today, the GSR is the most frequently referenced report on the renewable energy market, industry and policy trends. The full report is available on a microsite along with its colourful infographics. References are easily accessible – users can place their mouse over a reference and see all the sources used and access them directly via individual hyperlinks. The infographics are incorporated throughout the text and the simple navigation structure allows the reader to jump easily from chapter to chapter. The new Google translate function allows the user to translate the full content into the reader’s native language.

The GSR report is complemented by a Highlights Report that presents the overarching trends and developments. It outlines what is happening to drive the energy transition and details why it is not happening fast enough or as fast as possible. This document draws extensively on the meticulously documented data found in the GSR. It is available in multiple languages

Regional Reports[edit]

The Regional Status Report focus on the progress of renewable energy deployment in specific regions. The report process encourages and supports regional data collection processes as well as informed decision making. Regional status reports have been produced since 2009 and include: China (2009); India (2010); Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA, 2009); Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS, 2014); Southern African Development Community (SADC, 2015); United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE, 2015); East African Community (EAC, 2016) and UNECE (2017).

Thematic Reports[edit]

In its Thematic Report series , REN21 looks at a certain topic in-depth. Past reports include a publication on mini-grid policies, a ten year overview of renewable energy developments, as well as tendering and community power in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Renewable Interactive Map[edit]

The Renewable Interactive Map is a research tool for tracking the development of renewable energy worldwide. The interactive map complements the perspectives and findings of the Renewable Global Status Report and Regional Status Report series. The data includes statistics like renewable share of final energy demand, carbon pricing policy tracking and annual average renewable growth rate, on a global level, and can be extracted as a datapack.

Global Futures Report (GFR)[edit]

In the Global Futures Report (GFR) series energy experts from around the world share their views and perspectives on the feasibility and challenges of achieving a world fed by renewable energy. The 2013 report provides a range of thinking about the future of renewables. The 2017 report documents global views about the feasibility of achieving a 100% renewable energy future by mid-century. The GFR does not include any forecasts; rather it aims to spur debate about opportunities and challenges of a 100% renewable future.

REN21’s Renewable Academy[edit]

REN21’s first Renewables Academy was held 10-12 November, 2014, in Bonn, Germany. It was held exclusively for REN21’s community, offering a venue for brainstorming on future-oriented policy solutions. The Academy offers a rich environment, stimulating active contribution and new ideas on issues central to a renewable energy transition as well as identifying its key policy drivers. A summary of what was discussed on the Academy of 2014 in Bonn can be found here. Plans are underway for an Academy in the latter half of 2018.

International Renewable Energy Conferences (IRECs)[edit]

Initiated at the renewables 2004 conference in Bonn, IRECs a high-level political conference series exclusively dedicated to renewable energy sector. The conference is held on a biennial basis, hosted by a national government and convened by REN21.

These multi-stakeholder events act as a common platform for government, private sector and civil society leaders to jointly address the goal of advancing renewable energy and have provided the impulse for several momentous initiatives over the past decade.

IRECs have been held in the following countries: Beijing, China (BIREC, 2005); Washington, the U.S (WIREC, 2008); Delhi, India (DIREC, 2010); Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (ADIREC, 2013); South Africa (SAIREC, 2015); Mexico City, Mexico (MEXIREC, 2017). The next IREC will be hosted by the Republic of Korea, to be held 23-26 October 2019, in Seoul.

Collaborations with other institutions[edit]

REN21 works in cooperation with other organizations. A sister report to REN21’s GSR is the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment Report (GTR) produced by the Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Center for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance. REN21 is also a partner of the Global Tracking Framework (GTF), which is convened by the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) Initiative. REN21 also collaborates closely with other intergovernmental organisations such as the IEA, the World Bank and IRENA.


The diverse and interactive member network of REN21 is vital to the success of its work. By having contributing members from many different sectors, makes the work of REN21 unique and transparent. The network includes more than 60 members from industry associations, international organisations, national governments, NGOs and science and academia. REN21 is chaired by Arthouros Zervos; its Executive Secretary is Rana Adib.

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