“Renewables accounted for all of the growth in global power generation in 2015, and contributed 38 percent of world primary energy growth.” That’s a highlight from the 65th edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, which looks at the world’s energy supply, demand and usage.
The report found that non-hydro renewables grew by 15.2 percent over 2014. Of that, wind power saw 63 gigawatts of new installations in 2015 growing by 16.9 percent to 435 gigawatts.
“New [solar] installations totaling more than 50 GW in 2015 took global solar PV power generating capacity to 231 GW by year end, a 28.1 percent increase versus the end of 2014. Capacity has more than trebled in the past four years,” the report stated. That makes solar the fastest growing energy source in the report. It’s also largely inline with preliminary reports from earlier in 2016 that put the amount of solar power installed in 2015 at 48 gigawatts or more.
The report found that renewables were undoubtedly a highlight for the energy industry. The amount of energy consumed across the world in 2015 increased by just 1 percent overall in 2015, which according to the report is below the 10 year average increase of 1.9 percent.
Meanwhile the dirtiest source for energy generation, coal, fell by 1.8 percent in 2015—over the past 10 years it had increased 2.1 percent on average. “All of the net decline was accounted for by the US (-12.7%, the world’s largest volumetric decline) and China (-1.5%),” the report stated. It added: “Coal’s share of global primary energy consumption fell to 29.2%, the lowest share since 2005.”
The report also found that renewables, which have experienced double-digit growth for more than a decade, are starting to become a more significant part of the world’s energy generation, accounting for 6.7 percent of global power generation in 2015—up from 2.0 percent a decade ago, BP reported.
“As this edition of the stats review clearly demonstrates, the world of energy is again going through a period of profound change,” said BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley. “Our task as an industry is to take the steps necessary to ensure our resilience in the near term, while continuing to invest to meet the energy needs of the future.”
Looking back to solar power, its overall share of global power generation is still low at 1.1 percent, according to the report. “But that share has almost doubled in just two years,” it found. “Solar is starting to have a noticeable impact in terms of sources of power generation growth, contributing more than 30 percent of the growth of global power in 2015.” In 2016 that level could be even higher as some estimate and might compete directly with wind power installations as analysts have predicted between 64 and 67 gigawatts of new solar power installations in 2016.Tweet