2019 witnesses the largest increase in installed power capacity of renewable energy which grew more than 200 gigawatts. This is one of the finding from the Renewables 2020 Global Status Report published by the non-governmental organization REN21.
According to the report, countries in all parts of the world are moving towards renewable power. By the end of 2019, 47 countries across six continents had at least 1 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind power in operation, compared to just 18 countries in 2009.
The share of solar PV and wind power has grown more than five times since 2009 which is due, in large part, to the continued decline costs for these technologies. Already four countries, Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Uruguay, derived more than 30% of their electricity from solar PV and wind in 2019.
Yet, despite the growth in renewable energy, only 27% of global electricity is generated from renewables. Hydropower accounts for a 15.9% share followed by wind with a 5.9% share and solar with a 2.8% share.
As a result, REN21 has called on governments to put in place policies that actively support the uptake of renewable energy. According to REN21, “To make the switch, policy change is needed. GSR2020 shows that today’s progress is largely the result of policies and regulations initiated years ago. Policymaking must be collaborative, with decisions spanning and connecting the different sectors”.
The report also notes the public support for renewable energy continues to increase with opinion polls worldwide demonstrating that people are in favour of using more renewables and increasingly aware of the benefits of renewable energy.
How the IEC can help
IEC Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems enable the safe and efficient use of renewable energy, including solar, wind and marine energies, whether integrated into the grid or installed off-grid to help remote communities access electricity.
A number of IEC technical committees develop international standards for renewable energy systems. These documents help renewable energy systems to operate safely and efficiently, whether on-grid or off-grid. They also facilitate the integration of renewable energy systems in the electrical grid.
They include IEC TC 82: Solar photovoltaïc energy systems, IEC TC 88: Wind energy generation systems, IEC TC 114: Marine energy- wave, tidal and other water converters, IEC TC 4: Hydroelectric turbines, IEC TC 117: Solar thermal electric plants
The IEC runs four Conformity Assessment Systems, one of which is specifically designed for renewable energy systems.
IECRE (IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications) was established in 2014 to provide third-party certification of renewable energy equipment and services. This conformity assessment system facilitates the trade of equipment and services in the solar, wind and marine sectors while maintaining the required level of safety and expected performance.