The 2018 Global Status Report by Renewable Energy World documents that the move from fossil fuel to renewable energy in the global electric utility sector is making rapid progress. The report also indicates that the move to renewable energy in the transportation and heating/cooling sectors has made minimal progress. This is significant as the transportation and heating/cooling sectors account for approximately 80% of the total global energy demand.
The growth in solar energy continued at a robust pace. However, 84% of new solar installation were in the People’s of China (PRC), United States, India, Japan and Turkey. The demand for solar energy is beginning to show growth in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
The growth in global wind energy has slowed, however; wind energy produces significantly more power capacity than solar energy. The PRC, United States and Germany installed the most power capacity from wind energy in 2017. Offshore wind continues to demonstrate significant growth in Europe and now Asia. The United States is forecast to begin a major growth in offshore wind project over the next few years.
Energy storage is playing an increasing role in improving the optimization and reliability of global power grids. Global stationary and grid-connected energy storage capacity is now estimated to be 159,000 MW. Lithium-ion batteries provide the majority of battery capacity.
Although heating and cooling have shown minimal progress in moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy, electric vehicles (EVs) are beginning to make in-roads into global markets. The PRC, Europe and the United States have shown growth in the EV market. The PRC, Europe and the United States have plans to install EV battery chargers to encourage potential buyers.