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UN Predicts Growth for Renewable Energy

published: 2011-05-06 14:51

Renewable energy sources like solar power installations have seen remarkable growth, but still accounts for a relatively small proportion of worldwide power production. A draft report from the United Nations suggests that investments in the field could develop the sector into the majority energy provider by the mid-point of the century, according to Reuters.

The draft, a part of the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources, runs through 164 projections for the development of the energy industry.

At the time of the report, nearly 13 percent of the world's energy needs were met by renewable sources, but more than 10 percent of this was accounted for by bioenergy such as wood. However, all of the projections anticipate renewable technology continuing a trend toward price parity with conventional fuels, with the biggest question being how large an investment it receives. A substantial shift to renewable energy was predicted to cost around $12.3 trillion over the next two decades.

The majority of scenarios saw renewable sources, excluding traditional fuels, amounting to at least a fifth of current demand, but peak projections saw renewables accounting for as much as 77 percent of future energy demand.

Solar electricity costs have already fallen more than 80 percent in the past three decades and might have reached grid parity in some regions, though it remains less than 1 percent of U.S. energy production.

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