Despite increasing global share of green power, efforts for its applications have to be stepped up, especially in the fields of heating, refrigeration, and transportation, according to a report on global status of renewable energy, publicized by REN21, a French nonprofit organization, recently.
Thanks to the booming development of PV and wind power, new green-power installation capacity tops 178 GW in 2017, boosting its global share to 9%, with the new capacity of PV power jumping by 29% to 98 GW, higher than that of fossil fuel-fired power and nuclear power, and new capacity of wind power reaching 52 GW, including offshore wind-power capacity which leapt by 30%.
Rana Adib, executive secretary of REN21, noted that with the penetration rate of renewable energy in the power market becoming ever higher, energy transformation has become attainable, adding, though, share of green energy in global energy needs will be capped at 20%, should it be confined in the power sector, which accounts for only 20% of global energy needs. Presently, penetration rate of green power in the sectors of heating, refrigeration, and transportation, which account for 80% of global energy needs, is quite low, such as 3.1% in transportation in 2017 and 10.3% in heating in 2015.
Along with population growth and economic development, energy needs and power-related CO2 emission increased, for the first time in four years, by 2.1% and 1.4%, respectively, in 2017, as effect of increased renewable-energy capacities couldn't offset that of increased investments in fossil fuel.
Presently, 146 countries have set green-energy targets but only 48 have formed heating- and refrigeration-related policy. In India, capacities of solar collectors increased by 25% in 2017, while China aims to have solar energy meet 2% of refrigeration needs of buildings by 2020.
In transportation, where fossil fuel boasts 92% share and only 42 countries have formed green-energy goals, transportation electrification has promised handsome potential for renewable energy. Quite a few countries, such as India, Austria, Australia, and the U.K., have applied renewable energy in rail transportation and electric cars have greatly boosted the needs for green energy, with some countries having set schedule for ban on fossil-fuel cars.
Arthouros Zervos, chairman of REN21, pointed out policy support of various countries is essential for attaining full energy transformation, such as end of subsidies for fossil fuel and nuclear power, heavy investments in power infrastructure, and formation of goals and policy in the fields of heating, refrigeration, and transportation.
(Written by Daisy Chuang)