Developing nations’ policies push renewable energy capacity to record high, says UN-backed report

NEW YORK: The number of developing countries with policies in place to support renewable energy has increased six-fold in just eight years, resulting in one-fifth of the world s power production now coming from renewable sources, according to a United Nations-backed report produced ahead of the UN Sustainable Energy for All Forum.

At the beginning of this year, 95 developing countries had renewables support policies in place up from just 15 in 2005, reported the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), whose secretariat is supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

“Markets, manufacturing, and investment expanded further across the developing world, clearly illustrating that renewables are no longer dependent upon a small handful of countries,” stated REN21 s Renewables 2014 Global Status Report.

The report credited such support policies with driving global renewable energy capacity to a new record level last year more than 1,560 gigawatts, up more than 8 percent from 2012. Overall, 144 countries have renewable energy support policies and targets in place.

The report will be formally launched at the first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum, a three-day event which will kick of today at UN Headquarters in New York and brings together leaders of government, business and civil society to assess progress on sustainable energy, showcase innovation, present new commitments and spur further action.

The forum will also add momentum towards the UN climate summit in September, and advance the dialogue on how energy issues should be reflected in the post-2015 development agenda.