Another Record Breaking Year for Renewable Energy

  • Reports and Studies
  • 13 June 2017
  • by REN21

On 8 June, REN21 published its Renewables 2017 Global Status Report (GSR), the most comprehensive annual overview of the state of renewable energy.


The power sector experienced the greatest increases in renewable energy capacity in 2016, whereas the growth of renewables in the heating and cooling and transport sectors was comparatively slow.

Heating and Cooling

Modest improvements achieved, but renewable heating and cooling still constrained by low fossil fuel prices and lack of policy support


Modern renewable energy supplies approximately 9% of total global heat demand. In 2016, the vast majority of renewable heat continued to be supplied by biomass, with smaller contributions from solar thermal and geothermal energy. While additional capacities of modern bio-heat and solar thermal were installed in 2016, growth in both markets has slowed.


District heating systems are incorporating solar thermal energy for larger installations. Interest is expanding in the use of district heating as a way to provide flexibility to power systems, by storing energy from the electric power grid as heat, which reflects a more general increased interest in the electrification of the heating sector.


Continued improvements of materials, systems and industrial processes in the heating and cooling sector facilitated increases in renewable energy use. In general, however, deployment of renewable technologies in this market continued to be constrained by a number of factors including comparatively low fossil fuel prices and a relative lack of policy support.

The GSR full report, new Highlights document, microsite, infographics, and press release in 12 languages can all be accessed here.


About the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report


REN21’s Renewables 2017 Global Status Report presents developments and trends through the end of 2016, as well as observed trends from early 2017 where available.


First published in 2005, the annual Renewables Global Status Report is the most comprehensive and timely overview of the status, recent developments and trends in renewable energy markets, industries, investments, and policy developments worldwide. By design, it does not provide analysis or forecast. Data are provided by a network of 800 contributors, researchers, and authors from all over the world. Euroheat & Power is one of its contributors.

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