For the first time in 40 years, global carbon emission levels were unchanged while energy consumption increased in 2014, says REN21, global renewable energy policy network, in latest report, Thursday.
Global renewable energy installed capacity increased by 8.5 percent to reach 1,712 gigawatts in 2014, compared to a year earlier, the Renewables 2015 Global Status report shows.
"Despite rising energy use, for the first time in four decades, global carbon emissions associated with energy consumption remained stable in 2014 while the global economy grew," the report said. The stability in emission levels was attributed to the increasing number of renewable energy deployment and improvements in energy efficiency.
By the end of 2014, renewables accounted for about 27.7 percent of the world’s power generating capacity, enough to supply an estimated 22.8 percent of global electricity, the report adds. Renewable energy provided 19.1 percent of global final energy consumption in 2013, the report estimates.
Increasing the use of renewables and improving energy efficiency is critical in combating climate change, creating new economic opportunities, and providing energy access to people in need, the report highlights.
"Although Europe remained an important market and a center for innovation, activity continued to shift towards other regions," the report says.
China was the top country for renewable power capacity installations in 2014, while Brazil, India, and South Africa accounted for a large share of the capacity added in their respective regions.
Additionally, the number of developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to become important manufacturers and installers of renewable energy technologies in 2014 increased compared to 2013, the report says.
Renewables represented about 59 percent of net additions to global power capacity in 2014 with wind, solar photovoltaic, and hydro dominating the market, the report adds.
Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2014 as the first year of a Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, aiming to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix to 36 percent in 2030.
By Zeynep Beyza Karabay