According to a report released by the UN Environment Programme and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the share of overall world electricity generated by renewable energy is rising. This is largely because solar panel systems are becoming cheaper and cheaper.
Overall, solar, wind and other renewable sources of electricity, not counting hydropower, accounted for 8.5% of total world electricity generation in 2013; that’s up from 7.8% in 2012. In addition, renewables accounted for a massive 43.6% of total new electric generating capacity in 2013.
The report showed there was a 14% drop in global investment in renewables. However, this drop in investment is partly due to the fact that the cost of solar panels is continuing to fall. It’s also due to uncertainly in renewable energy policies in many nations and, unfortunately, a rise in fossil fuel investments – especially shale oil and gas in the United States.
World solar power generating capacity rose 26% in 2013 alone, up from 31 gigawatts to 39 gigawatts. This occurred over the same period that investment in solar fell 23% from $135.6 billion to around $104 billion.
The best news from the report is perhaps that unsubsidized renewable power is being developed around the world, and is becoming more and more capable of competing with fossil fuel power generation. That bodes very well for the future.