Global overview of energy sector

The global energy demand continues to increase. Globally the market penetration of renewable energy sources for energy generation is on the rise, mainly driven by the need for a greener energy industry. The butterfly effect was started by developed countries such as Germany, which now has a massive renewable energy footprint, which also provides energy security in the case of sabotage of energy generation sources. The renewable energy deployment is directed by the locally available renewable energy source and national policies by governing departments. Due to the extensive availability and relatively low cost of coal – if compared to other sources for energy – it is still remains a primary resource of energy on a global level.

Figure: Global use of the six most important energy sources since 1850 [Nakicenovic, 2009]

Table: Global renewable power capacities and production [REN21, 2014]

Capacities Total/ annual Unit 2004 2013
Power Generation Capacity global total GW 3800 5800
Renewable Power Capacity total, excl. hydro GW 85 560
Renewable Power Capacity total, incl. hydro GW 800 1,560
Hydro Power Capacity total GW 715 1,000
Bio Power Capacity   GW 39 88
Geothermal Power Capacity   GW 8.9 12
Solarvoltaics Capacity total GW 2.6 139
Concentrating Solar Thermal Power total GW 0.4 3.4
Wind Power Capacity total GW 48 318
Solar Hot Water Capacity total GW 98 326
Ethanol Production annual billion litres 28.5 87.2
Biodiesel Production annual billion litres 2.4 26.3
Total Biofuels annual billion litres 30.9 113.5


Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st century (2014) ’10 years of renewable energy progress’