Renewable power

Renewable power consumption grew by 15.2% in 2012, providing 4.7% of the world’s electricity

The rapid growth of renewable power generation continued in 2012.  Global growth was 15.2%, slower than in 2011 but above the ten year trend rate of growth, and the ninth successive year of double-digit growth. Renewables contributed 31% of the growth in global power generation in 2012, representing 12.7% of world energy growth.

The OECD remains the main source of renewable power generation (71% of world total in 2012), but non-OECD growth has accelerated sharply and has exceeded OECD growth in percentage terms in each of the past five years.

The share of renewable power in global power generation reached 4.7% in 2012, up from 1.7% in 2002. Renewables accounted for 6.9% of OECD power generation in 2012, compared to 2.6% in the non-OECD.  While the aggregate shares remain low, for some individual countries renewables now contribute a significant share of power. Fifteen countries now have a renewables share of more than 10%, up from just eight countries in 2010.


Other renewables consumption by region

Million tonnes oil equivalent

Other renewables share of power generation by region


Renewable energy in power generation grew by an above-average 15.2%. Europe & Eurasia delivered the largest growth increment and continues to hold the largest regional share of the global total (accounting for 41.7% of the world total). Renewable energy accounted for a record 4.7% of global power generation, with an 8.2% share in Europe & Eurasia.


Data are based on gross generation from renewable sources including wind, geothermal, solar, biomass and waste, and not accounting for cross-border electricity supply. The Mtoe figures are converted on the basis of thermal equivalence assuming 38% conversion efficiency in a modern thermal power station.

In the other renewables consumption table, the units are in million tonnes oil equivalent (mtoe). In addition the data are available in the Excel workbook in terawatt–hours (Twh).