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Developing Countries Lead Global Surge in Renewable Energy Capacity

Renewable Energy

The number of developing nations with policies supporting renewable energy has surged more than six-fold in just eight years, from 15 developing countries in 2005 to 95 early this year, according to a report from REN21, an international nonprofit renewable energy policy network.

Countries with renewable energy policies or targets in place in early 2014 (top), versus 2005 (bottom). Graphic courtesy of REN21, Renewables 2014 Global Status Report via Yale Environment 360

Those 95 developing nations today make up the vast majority of the 144 countries with renewable energy support policies and targets in place. The report credits such policies with driving global renewable energy capacity to a new record level last year—1,560 gigawatts, up 8.3 percent from 2012. More than one-fifth—22 percent—of the world's power production now comes from renewable sources.

Overall, renewables accounted for more than 56 percent of net additions to global power capacity in 2013, the report says. Although financial and policy support declined in the U.S. and some European countries, China, the U.S., Brazil, Canada and Germany remained the top countries for total installed renewable power capacity. China's new renewable power capacity surpassed new fossil fuel and nuclear capacity for the first time, the analysis found.

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