Renewables now make up almost 29% of global electricity generation

Renewable energy is derived from resources that are replenished on a human timescale; examples include sunlight, wind, rains, waves, tides, geothermal heat and biomass. Renewable energy is used in three main areas: electricity generation, air and water heating and cooling, and transportation. Renewables are also suited to provide off-grid energy solutions in rural and remote areas. The overall production and use of renewable energy usually produce minimal greenhouse gases and have the potential to significantly reduce air pollution compared to hydrocarbon alternatives. Deployment of renewable energy also has potential energy security benefits, with renewable resources spread over wide geographical areas.

In light of the current greenhouse gas-driven warming of the climate and the associated impacts, a global transition to low carbon energy is underway with renewable energy at the forefront. Related technologies are rapidly becoming more efficient and falling in costs; some renewable energy forms like solar PV and onshore wind that once depended heavily on government support are now at or approaching cost-parity with fossil fuel generation. Since most renewables produce electricity, increasing the share of renewable energy in the whole energy system can be achieved by electrifying the heat and transport sectors, in combination with increasing the proportion of electricity provided by renewables. Besides electrification, the transport sector can benefit from biofuels which can substitute for oil products. The heat sector can see further deployment of solar water heating, biomass-fuelled burners and direct geothermal heating. Renewable energy is expected to continue expanding its share in the energy mix, as costs come down, innovative technologies are commercialised, and environmental drivers strengthen. The EU has a target for 32% of all electricity to be generated from renewables by 2030. To meet these climate and sustainability goals, renewable energy deployment must accelerate in all sectors, enabled by policy and markets.

You can find further information below about the technologies, costs and current developments within each of the seven major types of renewables:

Learn more about renewables by reading our Energy Insights.

For the latest news and articles on renewable energy read New Energy World.

View our dedicated Collections on Hydrogen and Offshore Wind.

What's new?

Biden’s $739bn climate deal set to deliver the biggest climate investment in US history

03/08/2022
Biden hailed the congressional deal as the biggest single climate investment in US history. The deal promises to raise taxes on high earners and corpo...

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World’s first unmanned marine station

03/08/2022
The new unmanned mobile facility design is patent-pending and compliant with the same strict environmental and safety standards as a modern unmanned s...

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First big battery to deliver grid-scale inertia services

03/08/2022
The 150 MW/193.5 MWh HPR is Australia’s second largest lithium-ion battery and is based on Tesla’s ‘virtual machine mode’ technology which allows adva...

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European Space Agency going green with launch of Spaceport hydrogen plan

03/08/2022
The project – known as HYGUANE (HYdrogène GUyanais A Neutralité Environnementale) – aims to establish a pilot plant within the Spaceport capable of pr...

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EU taxonomy changes could lead to new nuclear projects and more expensive gas

03/08/2022
The challenge for gas is twofold: abatement technologies are not yet market-ready at scale and their costs, once implemented, are likely to boost pric...

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Events and training

Singapore International Chamber of Commerce Energy Transition Special Interest Group Launch

17/08/2022
In conjunction with the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce and the visit of Energy Institute President Ms. Juliet Davenport OBE Hon...

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British Institute for Energy Economics Policy Conference 2022

22/09/2022
Register at https://www.biee.org/conference/biee-policy-conference-2022/ 

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Level 1: Certificate in Energy Management Essentials - October 2022

03/10/2022
About: This introductory 5 day classroom course provides a comprehensive, practical overview of the fundamentals of energy management, equipping ...

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Level 3: Advanced Energy Manager

10/10/2022
This 10-day course is an advanced qualification aiming to support experienced energy managers to further advance their careers by gaining the skills a...

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Energy Storage Fundamentals for Energy Security - November 2022

03/11/2022
This course is also available as a self-paced online course here. This 2-day classroom training course allows you to gain a comprehensive understan...

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Technical guidance publications

Waste to products – Technology and economic assessment (phase 1)

2022
This document is free to download for registered users.The EMG and Soil Wastes and Groundwater group (SWG) of the EI and Concawe have commissioned E4t...

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Research report: Application of life cycle assessment methodology to the understanding of the energy balance and efficiency of hydrogen value chain building blocks

2022
This document is free to download for registered users.This publication explores the efficiencies of the hydrogen energy system and quantifies the ene...

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Minimal staffing and lone working: ensuring employee safety and wellbeing in the power sector

2022
This publication is free to download for registered members of this site.This publication provides good practice guidance to help organisations manage...

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Design and operational guidance on cathodic protection of offshore structures, subsea installations and pipelines

2022
This publication provides guidance for the design and operation of cathodic protection (CP) on offshore structures, subsea installations and pipelines...

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A site operator's guide to electric vehicle charging equipment at filling stations

2022
This document is aimed at operators of filling stations and those responsible for deciding whether or not to install electric vehicle charging equipme...

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