PARIS - Renewable energy use is growing faster than 10 percent per year throughout the world, according to a new report from the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). Excluding large hydropower, the global electric generating capacity of renewable energy facilities reached 237 gigawatts (GW) this year, up 15 percent from last year. That’s about 5.5 percent of the electric generating capacity throughout the world. At 93 GW, wind power provided about 40 percent of that renewable generating capacity - wind power capacity increased by 25 percent over 2006. Grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems reached 7.8 GW in capacity, a 56 percent increase, while the global production of photovoltaic systems reached 3.8 GW per year, a 52 percent increase over 2006.

Among non-electric renewable energy sources, solar hot water capacity increased by 17 percent to 121 thermal GW. Global ethanol production increased 16 percent to 11.6 billion gallons, while biodiesel production increased by a third to more than 2 billion gallons. The REN21 report estimates that global investment in renewable energy will exceed $100 billion in 2007, including $15-$20 billion invested in large hydropower facilities, at least $66 billion invested in other renewable energy facilities, $10-$12 billion invested in manufacturing plants for photovoltaic devices and biofuels, and $16 billion invested in public and private research and development.

The full REN21 report will be published in January, but a pre-publication summary was released in time for the Bali climate conference. The pre-publication summary is available at

Publication date:12/24/2007