The greener energy movement has been a blessing to some industries, where it could potentially spell the end for others. The renewable energy industry has enjoyed record-breaking growth in the wake of traditional energy beginning to waver. Without reliance on finite sources, renewable energy is proving itself to be reliable in its ability to, well, renew. Renewable energy contains many renewable sources such as wind, wave, solar, biomass, and biofuel.
HTL Group, suppliers of a range of quality equipment such as the hydraulic torque wrench, have investigated the current status of the renewable energy industry.
A review of the renewable energy market’s performance
Renewables have grown stronger and stronger in recent years. In 2016, 138 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity was created, showing an 8% increase on 2015, when 128 GW was added.
Renewable energy’s contribution to power generation outdid the performance of other sectors, with a 55% share. Following in second place, coal created 54 GW of power-generating capacity, while gas created 37 GW and nuclear created 10 GW. Renewables’ huge contribution to the global power-generating capacity accounted for 55% of 2016’s electricity generation capacity and 17% of the total global power capacity, increasing from 15% in 2015.
The estimated amount of CO2 reduced by the growth of renewable energy sectors in 2016 stands at 1.7 billion tonnes in 2016, according to data from UNEP. Based on the 39.9 billion tonnes of CO2 that was released in 2016, the figure would have been 4% higher without the availability of renewable energy sources.
Investing in the market
Though the sector rose in 2016, the investments towards renewable energy fell. In 2016, $242 billion was invested in the sector, showing a 23% decrease on 2015’s figures. This reduction can largely be attributed to the falling cost of technology in each sector.
But the figures differ depending on the country. In 2016, Europe was the only region to see an increase in investment in the renewables sector, rising 3% on 2015’s figures to reach $60 billion. This performance is largely driven by the region’s offshore wind projects, which accounted for $26 billion of the total, increasing by over 50% on 2015’s figures.
The strongest investments came from Norway, Belgium, Sweden, and Denmark. UK investment slipped by 1% on the previous year, while Germany’s investment dropped by 14%.
But China’s investment fell by nearly a third, from $78 billion in 2015 to $37 billion in 2016. Investment from developing nations also dropped in 2016 to a total of $117 billion, down from $167 billion in 2015. In 2016, investment had almost levelled out between developed and developing countries ($125 billion vs $117 billion).
For the future
The renewable sector is enjoying many different impacts to its continued growth. From the falling cost of technology to societal shifts like the 2040 ban to prevent the sale of new petrol- and diesel-fuelled cars, the future certainly looks positive for the sector — even if investment has declined in the past year.
Though fossil fuels are still the primary focus of the energy market, the current shift in attitudes, along with the falling price of equipment, renewable is set to continue to grow. In the future, it is inevitable that the sector will overtake more traditional markets on a global scale, revolutionising how we generate and consume energy.