PARIS — Renewable power generation is expected to continue its rapid growth over the next five years, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The report says that despite economic uncertainties in many countries, global power generation from solar, wind, hydropower, and other renewable sources is projected to increase by more than 40 percent to almost 6,400 terawatt hours (TWh) — or roughly one-and-a-half times current electricity production in the United States.

This study marks the first time the IEA has devoted a medium-term market report to renewable power sources, what the agency says is recognition of the increasing role of renewable energy in the global power mix. The study examines in detail 15 key markets for renewable energy, which currently represent about 80 percent of renewable generation, while identifying and discussing developments that may emerge in other markets. It completes a series of IEA medium-term market reports that also cover oil, natural gas, and coal. Like the others, it presents a forecast of global developments and detailed country projections over the next five years.

The new study, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2012, says that renewable electricity generation should expand by 1,840 TWh between 2011 and 2017, almost 60 percent above the 1,160 TWh growth registered between 2005 and 2011. Of the 710 GW of new global renewable electricity capacity expected, China accounts for almost 40 percent. Significant deployment is also expected in the United States, India, Germany, and Brazil, among others.

Publication date: 8/20/2012