REN21’s  2011 Renewables Global Status Report is out and report’s that renewable energy supplied an estimated 16% of global final energy consumption in 2010.  This compares with 81% for fossil fuels and 3% for nuclear. Renewables also showed strong growth in all three sectors tracked — power, heat and transport.

Of the 16% figure, traditional biomass made up 10% and hydro power 3.4%.  The remainder was biofuels, wind, solar and geothermal. Traditional biomass is used primarily for cooking and heating in rural areas of developing countries.

Wind power added the most new capacity, followed by hydro power and solar photovoltaics (PV).  Solar PV more than doubled due to declining costs.

In terms of total renewable capacity the top 5 countries are China, US, Canada, Brazil and Germany tied with India.

Renewable resources supplied an estimated 20% of global electricity demand and accounted for one-half of new electric capacity.  It also delivered nearly 20% of the global electricity supply. By early 2011, fully 25% of global power capacity from all sources came from renewables.

China and emerging market countries now account for more than 50% of renewable energy. China was the top installer of wind turbines and solar thermal systems and was the top hydro power producer.

Renewables supply 11% of final energy consumption in the US and Germany.

At least 118 countries had some form of renewable energy policy target or support policy in place at the national level.  This is more than double the number that did in 2005, when REN21 issued its first report.

Globally, there are more than 3.5 million direct jobs in renewable energy industries, about half of them in the biofuels industry.

You can see the full report here.

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