A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) has determined that over the next five years, in spite of economic uncertainty, global power generation from hydropower, solar, wind and other renewable resources will increase by over 40% to 6,400TWh. The report, Medium–Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2012, finds that renewable electricity generation should expand by 1,840TWh between 2011 and 2017; nearly 60% more than the 1,160TWh growth found to have taken place between 2005 and 2011.

IEA’s study looked at 15 key markets for renewable energy, including hydropower, bioenergy for power, onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, CSP, geothermal and ocean power, rendering a forecast for global development and detailed country projects over the next five years. The study notes that renewable generation will progressively shift from the OECD to new markets, with non-OECD countries accounting for two-thirds of this growth.

IEA noted that of the 710GW of new global renewable energy capacity expected, China accounts for almost 40%, followed by considerable deployments in the US, India, Germany and Brazil. This global increase is supported through what IEA calls a maturing portfolio of renewable energy technologies, which have been supported in part by policy and market frameworks in OECD countries. Furthermore, the ever increasing electricity demand and energy needs in large and small emerging markets have led to deployment opportunities creating a cycle of improved global completion and cost reductions.

"Renewable energy is expanding rapidly as technologies mature, with deployment transitioning from support-driven markets to new and potentially more competitive segments in many countries," IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven said. "Given the emergence of a portfolio of renewable sources as a crucial pillar of the global energy mix, market stakeholders need a clear understanding of the major drivers and barriers to renewable deployment. Based on these factors, this report forecasts global renewable development and in so doing, provides a key benchmark for both public and private decision makers."