The International Energy Agency (IEA) published on June 26, 2013 a report that predicts that renewable energy by 2016 will be the second largest electricity supply in the world after coal, edging out natural gas. That may not be as big an improvement for the earth as it sounds. An IEA report in April said due to increasing reliance on coal in China, India and parts of Europe which are phasing out nuclear power and suffering from high natural gas prices, the world’s energy is no cleaner than 20 years ago.
Other predictions in the report were:
- Renewable power, including hydropower, is the fastest-growing power sector and expected to increase by 40 percent by 2018.
- Renewable sourced power will be twice that from nuclear by 2016.
- Renewable power will provide 25 percent of the world energy supply, up from 20 percent in 2011.
- 80 percent of renewable power worldwide is hydropower, a negative in that constructing dams damages river ecosystems.
- Wind, solar, geothermal and energy derived from plants will supply 8 percent of the world’s energy by 2018, versus 4 percent in 2011 and 2 percent in 2006.
- Investment in renewable projects decreased in 2012.
- Biofuels use will increase 25 percent to 2.4 million barrels per day by 2018. Currently 90 million barrels of petroleum are consumed daily worldwide.
- Two-thirds of renewable energy growth is occurring in developing countries, mainly China, whereas growth in Europe and the U.S. is expected to slow.
The IEA is a Paris-based energy security and research organization serving 28 oil-importing countries including the United States. The report is its second annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report. IEA estimates that global fossil fuel subsides are six times higher than renewables incentives.
Regarding renewable energy and the United States:
- President Barack Obama on June 25, 2013 outlined his plan to encourage renewable sources investment.
- 12 percent of electricity consumed in 2012 was from renewables according to the Energy Department.
- 7 percent of that was from hydroelectric; the other 5 percent from others like wind and solar.
- 10 percent of gasoline consumed in 2012 was ethanol.
To see the tax incentives that are currently available for the Greenville, South Carolina area, view the S.C. Energy website. For grants, see the SC Renewable Energy Grant Program. Of the states, South Carolina ranks 32 for generating 0.8 percent of renewable energy in the nation at 3,315 million kWh.