Renewable Power Generation - 2010 figures

David Hopwood

Special report. Conclusion: how much renewable electricity capacity was installed worldwide at the end of 2010, and which technologies were the most popular?

About the article: This special Renewable Energy Focus power generation focus previews REMIPEG's latest update, carried out in the first four months of 2011 by Lahmeyer International, and presents an overview for each renewable power sector, based on scenarios up to the end of 2010.

This article is taken from the July/August issue of Renewable Energy Focus (REFocus) magazine. For a free subscription, click here.

The table below summarises the total renewable energy installed capacities as of the end of 2010; the newly installed capacity in 2010; and the resulting annual electricity generation.

As can be seen, around 98 GW was added in 2010, of which hydropower made the largest contribution, closely followed by wind energy. However, solar (both PV and CSP) demonstrated by far the largest growth rate in 2010 in terms of newly-installed power. The 17 GW of PV power plants added last year was an excellent achievement.

The growth rate in geothermal (around 75%) was good, but taken in context with the total installed geothermal capacity - already amounting to 11 GW - and the low level of installation up to the end of 2009, this was much less impressive that PV and CSP. Also of note:

  • The total electricity generated from renewable sources in 2010 is estimated to have been between 4,386 and 4,510 TWh/y;
  • We estimate the total annual global electricity generation (in 2010) to have been around 20,900 TWh/y (by assuming an average 5% growth of power generation in 2010 compared to 2009 – a preliminary estimate based on 5% global energy consumption increase in 2010; source – Enerdata: World energy use in 2010: over 5% growth; May 2010);
  • As a result, renewable power generation in 2010 contributed between 21% and 22% to overall power generation;
  • In terms of primary energy consumption globally, the share of renewable energies for electricity generation grew from 2.7% in 2009 to 3.3% in 2010.

Up to the end of 2010, 1,348 GW of renewable power capacity had been installed around the world, giving an estimated annual power generation of between 4,447 and 4,571 TWh (source: REMIPEG database, from Lahmeyer International, an engineering consulting firm based in Germany).

Installed global power capacity of renewable energy technologies for grid-connected power generation, and estimated annual energy generation in 2010
Renewable energy sourceCumulative installed capacity - end 2010 (GW)New installed capacity 2010 (GW)Growth rate of newly-installed capacity; % (2010 v 2009)Estimated electricity generation in 2010 (TWh/y)
Wind power19738.33430
Solar PV4016.613350
Solar CSP1.220.552102.3
Biomass power(a)>54.0>3n.a.(b)218-342
Geothermal power110.357568
Ocean & Tidal energy<0.300<0.7
World total1,33498 4,386-4,510

NB: a) Without municipal waste to energy plants for installed capacity, but including waste to energy from municipal waste power plants for annual electricity generation; b) 2009 figures of last year update were revised due to updated information. Therefore comparison with last year's published data is not shown here.



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This article is featured in:
Bioenergy  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells  •  Geothermal  •  Other marine energy and hydropower  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity  •  Solar heating and cooling  •  Wave and tidal energy  •  Wind power



Anonymous said

16 January 2012
Excellent presentation on Renewable Energy in 2010.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
E-mail: anumakonda.jagadeesh@gmail.com

Anonymous said

16 January 2012
Excellent presentation on Renewable Energy in 2010.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
E-mail: anumakonda.jagadeesh@gmail.com

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