Solar and wind are the fastest growing forms of renewable energy
The Worldwatch Institute, an environmental analysis organization, has released the latest results of its Vital Signs Online report. The report tracks the various environmental trends that emerge around the world and also offers insight into the field of renewable energy. This year, the report shows that solar and wind energy have seen strong growth throughout the world in 2012. Globally, the growth that solar and wind energy have seen over the past year has outpaced the growth of other forms of renewable energy.
Solar and wind consumption increases dramatically
According to the report, global solar energy consumption rose by 58% in 2012, reaching 93 terrawatt-hours of consumption. Wind energy consumption grew by 18%, reaching 521 terrawatt-hours. The report notes that hydropower remains the world’s most prominent form of renewable energy, but it may soon be dethroned by wind and solar. Strong investments have helped these two forms of renewable energy make strong progress around the world and the Worldwatch Institute expects that investments will remain high and continue powering growth in the coming years.
New investors show concern over mix of politics and energy
While investments have been strong over the past year, new investors have been hard to come by in the solar and wind energy fields. Those that have already invested in these forms of renewable energy are expected to continue doing so, but others have been showing signs of concern regarding the relationship between renewable energy and politics. Government policies that either restrict support for renewable energy or cut this support entirely have caused some investors to pull away from the field. Politics may play a more reserved role in renewable energy in the future as the economic prospects of clean power become better understood.
Developing countries may be ideal homes for renewable energy projects
While developed countries currently dominate the renewable energy scene, developing countries are beginning to put more focus on clean power and sustainability. These countries are becoming ideal homes for ambitious renewable energy projects and the rate at which clean power grows in these countries could soon outpace that seen in their more developed counterparts.