International Press Articles

REN21 2019

In May REN21 published their annual report on the global state of renewables in 2018. Renewable energy technologies have seen a relatively stable market and the increase of new capacities remains constant. Main progresses have been achieved in the power sector, while heating, cooling and transport have seen far less growth, according to the report. A lack of policy support and slow development of new technologies causes the comparatively slow uptake of renewables in heating and cooling. In the transport sector, renewable energy penetration remains low, even though the market for electric vehicles is growing significantly. With 181 GW newly added capacity in the power sector the increase remains constant, following years of growth. Due to stable policies, renewable energies accounted for an estimated 26% of global electricity generation by the end of the year.

ren in cities

REN21 is producing the first edition of a new report series: the Renewables in Cities Global Status Report will provide a platform to collaboratively map out the current trends and developments of renewable energy in cities, making the key role that cities play in advancing the energy transformation visible to policy makers and other stakeholders. At the moment, information on renewable energy in cities is dispersed and limited. By offering fact-based evidence and a supportive narrative, this publication will be a powerful tool for different types of stakeholders to inform (sub-) national regulatory frameworks, support city-level commitments and facilitate better multi-level integration to collectively shape the debate on cities in the energy transformation.

Please find the full report here.

Climate change optimism is justified – a complete transition from carbon to solar and wind power looks practical and affordable within a generation (published in The Guardian on 19 January 2017).

My first book on climate change was published 10 years ago. I looked at how responsible individuals could choose to run their lives to cut their carbon footprint.

Inevitably minimising your carbon footprint meant making some uncomfortable choices – stopping eating meat, for example, or giving up flying. Hair-shirtism, in short. In 2009, I advised individuals on how they could cut their carbon emissions by 10%.

I then disobeyed some of my own recommendations, flying to the US to visit a daughter at university, for example. Over the subsequent years, it increasingly seemed to me that changing western lifestyles in the way my first book suggested was going to be an impossible struggle.

This is a call for the world-wide move to phase out of fossil fuel energy systems and a global moratorium on new coal fired reactors; local, regional and worldwide closure of coal mines, and for the rise of a renewable economy and industry, at an equitable, steady-state economic development trajectory. To help preserve valuable financial assets, all plans for new nuclear assets and the misguided carbon capture and storage CCS should be reassigned to renewable system deployment: a far more practical, economical and rapid path to carbon sanity.

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