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IEA reports on renewable energy growth – low growth rates for geothermal

Dora 2 geothermal power plant, Turkey (source: Ormat)
Alexander Richter 5 Aug 2016

In a comprehensive report on the global energy supply and the share of renewable energy, it is shown clearly that geothermal lags behind other renewables when it comes to growth.

In a release late last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) highlighted the ever growing share of renewable energy in the global energy supply. Renewable energy now represents the second largest source of global electricity production.

“Since 1990, energy from renewable sources has grown at an average annual rate of 2.2%, higher than the 1.9% growth rate of TPES (Figure 2). Growth has been especially high for solar photovoltaic and wind power, at 46.2% and 24.3% respectively, driven primarily by OECD countries and China. Hydro and solid biofuels remain the most used form of renewable energy, and grew in line with overall TPES of 2.5% and 1.5% per year respectively.”

For the full release and the report, visit the IEA website via the link provided below. As usual the reports by IEA are sold at non-justifiable prices, which is unfortunate as it would reach more people were they freely available.

An interesting fact represented by the report are the annual growth rates of renewable energy supply from 1990-2014.

While it is no surprise to see Solar PV and Wind seeing growth rates of 46% and 24% respectively, at an overall average of renewables growth of 2.2%, interesting is the low annual growth rate for geothermal globally of 3.1%. For OECD countries the growth rate is even lower at 2.3%. With all the potential of geothermal specifically in regions, such as Eastern Africa, Southeast Asia and elsewhere, this is a bit of a shame. But maybe this will change in the coming years with better support and incentives for development.

IEA reports that between 1990 and 2014, geothermal has on average grown annually by 3.1%. It would be interesting to actually see the distribution by year for geothermal, as this might provide a slightly different picture and show the actual role of incentives, energy demand, political support, financial contribution by development banks and more on geothermal development in specific countries.

The report by IEA, shows also the incredible role renewable energy technologies play in the different regions. In 2014, the share of renewables of regional total primary energy supply was 49.6% in Africa and 25.3% in Asia (excluding China), while in the OECD countries the overall share was only 9.4%.

Source: IEA