As the fastest growing sector and accounting for around a fifth of worldwide electricity production, renewable energy has emerged as a significant source in the global mix. Much of this success has stemmed from significant policy effort and economic incentives at the country level, particularly in the OECD. Massive investment has taken place on a global scale, with costs for most technologies falling steadily. As a result, renewable energy technologies are becoming more economically attractive in an increasing range of countries and circumstances, with China, India and Brazil emerging as major deployment grounds. Going forward, the continued growth of renewable energy will depend upon the evolution of policy and market frameworks. Yet, further technology development, grid and system integration issues and the availability of finance will also weigh as key variables.
This new annual IEA publication, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2012, provides a key benchmark, assessing the current state of play of renewable energy, identifying the main drivers and barriers to deployment and projecting renewable energy electricity capacity and generation through 2017. Starting with an in-depth analysis of key country-level markets, which represent 80% of renewable electricity generation today, the report examines the prospects for renewable energy finance and provides a global outlook for each renewable electricity technology. The report analyses enablers and barriers to renewable energy deployment in detail, examining larger electricity market issues that have implications for renewable development, including country-level demand projections, anticipated changes in conventional generating capacity and power system integration.