According to the REN21 Renewables 2007 Global Status Report, things are looking great for renewable energy industries. In 2007, global wind generating capacity is estimated to have jumped 28 percent, while grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) shot up an amazing 52 percent.
One of the report’s researchers, Dr. Eric Martinot, stated that the renewable energy sector now accounts for 2.4 million jobs globally. While many of the jobs were in relation to the production of biofuel (something I’m a little bit leery of) that snippet should help to quell fears of the renewables revolution causing massive job losses (much like the fears that were spread during the computer revolution). Some jobs are lost, but new ones are created.
Other items of note from the report:
– During 2006, renewable energy cranked as much electric power globally as 25% of the world’s nuclear power plants – and that’s not including large scale hydropower. (And more than nuclear counting large hydropower.
– Rooftop solar hot water systems are now hooked up to nearly 50 million households worldwide
– An estimated $71 billion was invested in new renewable power and heating capacity globally in 2007, of which 47 percent was for wind power and 30 percent was for solar PV.
– Twenty-five million households cook and light their homes with biogas, and 2.5 million households use solar lighting systems.
– Over 2 million ground-source heat pumps are used in 30 countries for building heating and cooling.
– At least 60 countries – developed and developing, now have policies to promote renewable power generation
You can download the 54 page Renewables 2007 Global Status Report here (free PDF)