In 2013, renewable power capacity expanded at its fastest pace to date. Renewable power generation continued to grow strongly, reaching almost 22% of the global mix, compared with 21% in 2012 and 18% in 2007. Globally, renewable electricity generation is now on par with that of natural gas, which remained relatively stable in 2013. Investment in new renewable power capacity topped USD 250 billion globally in 2013 and is likely to remain at high levels..
Nevertheless, policy and market risks increasingly cloud the development picture, raising concerns over how fast renewables can scale up to meet long-term deployment objectives. Just when renewables are becoming a cost-competitive option in an increasing number of cases, policy uncertainty is rising in some key OECD markets. Renewables continue to spread in emerging markets, where fast-growing power demand and diversification needs provide strong deployment drivers. Still, barriers to development remain in a number of non-OECD areas, including China. As a result, despite strong anticipated generation growth, renewable power capacity additions and investment are expected to level off through 2020. Meanwhile, biofuels for transport and renewables for heat continue to grow, though at slower rates than renewable electricity and with persistent policy challenges.
The Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2014 assesses market trends for renewables in the electricity, transport and heat sectors, identifying drivers and challenges to deployment, and making projections through 2020. The report presents for the first time an investment outlook for renewable power capacity, in addition to projections for renewable electricity technologies, a global biofuels supply forecast and extended analysis of final energy use of renewables for heat.