Recently, global renewable energy consumption has significantly increased. In 2018, global energy demand increased by 2.3%, which was the greatest rise in a decade. China, the United States and India together accounted for almost 70% of the total increase in demand.
Under the circumstances, development of the renewable energy sector is not only a global trend but also a planet-scale must.
- The 1970s energy crisis defined both short- and long-term prospects in the world economy concerning the consumption of oil as a main source of fuel. Since then, global renewable energy trends (using the energy of the sun, wind, geysers, etc.) have become more and more widespread.
- According to REN21, renewable energy has been established as a mainstream global source of electricity for several years. By the end of 2018, the estimated share of renewables in global electricity generation exceeded 26%.
- In 2018, total global investment in renewable power and fuels made up USD 288.9 billion (USD 304.9 billion including hydropower plants larger than 50 MW), which was 11% more than in the previous year. With China alone accounting for 32% of total renewable energy investment, developing and emerging economies accounted for 53% of the total.
- The World Bank Group announced a target of investing USD 200 billion over five years (starting from 2021) to support 35 GW of renewable energy and enabling infrastructure.
- Since 2010, the cost of wind energy has decreased by 49%, and solar energy – by 85%. This makes them cheaper than two thirds of the world’s new coal or gas facilities.
- Today, the cost per kW of a solar power plant in Ukraine is at least 5 times as lower than in 2014: 5 years ago it was about USD 4 thousand, and now it costs only USD 600-800.
- In future, solar energy may become the main renewable energy source in the Earth’s biosphere. In average, our planet gets about 1,366 W of solar radiation per quare meter.
- The use of solar radiation is crucial in space. The Sun’s energy is one of the few energy sources able to run satellites, automatic interplanetary stations and spacecrafts. By the way, China’s Academy of Space Technology is working on an orbital power plant that would capture solar energy in space at an altitude of 36,000 km and beam it back to Earth.
- Each year, more electricity is generated from renewable than in the previous year. Hydropower still accounted for about 60% of global renewable electricity production in 2018, followed by wind power (21%), solar PV (9%) and bio-power (8%).
- At the end of 2018, the total capacity of wind power plants in Ukraine was 553 MW, and the countries estimated wind power potential is 15,000 MW.
- At the beginning of 2019, Scotland had 10.9 GW of installed renewable energy capacity. Renewable electricity generation in Scotland was 26,708 GWh in 2018, making up 74% of its gross electricity consumption. With 8,423 MW of installed capacity as of 2018, wind power in Scotland is the country’s fastest growing renewable energy source.
- In 2019, solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power have produced more electricity than coal and nuclear power combined for the first time in Germany. According to the BDEW (German Association of Energy and Water Industries), the German government plans to reach a 65-per cent share of “green” electricity in the country’s energy mix by 2030. Actually, Europe is actively developing the renewable energy sector aiming at generating 92% of its electricity from renewables by 2050.