BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

Renewable Energy

The biggest users of renewable energy 2015The biggest users of renewable energy 2015 Source: BGR

There is a very large spectrum of renewable energy resources. These include "classic" renewables such as solid biomass (e.g. wood), and hydroelectric power, as well as the "modern" renewables: wind power, solar power, geothermal energy, tidal power and various forms of biogenic natural resources. The range of uses here is also very varied and includes power generation, the use of heat and cold, as well as fuels for the mobility and transport sectors. Most renewable energy resources are used for power generation.

The "modern" renewables such as wind power and solar power climbed out of their niches long ago and are now globally established energy resources. Around 1,985 GW of installed renewable energy capacities for power generation now exist world-wide. A major challenge is the discrepancy between this potential and the actually available output, which means that only around 14 % of global primary energy consumption could be covered by renewables. More than 70 per cent of this is accounted for by biogenic energy resources, almost 20 per cent by hydroelectric power, and around a tenth by modern renewables such as solar power and wind power. A further expansion of all energy supply sectors can be expected in future. Investments here have increased in particular in developing countries and emerging economies. Investments and the expansion of capacities further increased the influence of renewable energy globally, particularly in the power sector, whilst the influence in the heat and transport sectors will probably only grow moderately in the medium term.

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