Renewable energy can be sourced from various resources: hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and ocean. Renewable energy technologies can be used to generate electricity, heating and cooling in buildings and the manufacturing industry as well as motor fuels for transport.
Renewable power has a strong business case and globally it is well on track. Since 2009, solar PV costs have seen an impressive decline of 80% and this trend is continuing. Wind turbines costs were halved in the same period. In 2017, costs of electricity generation from wind averaged USD 6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) worldwide. Several solar projects have also been offered at USD 3 cents per kWh. As a result, most advances in the renewable energy are seen in the power sector where bulk of the capacity additions have been in renewables capacity since the past 5 years.
There is also a significant potential of renewable energy for non-power sectors. The success that has been achieved is mixed: solar water heater use in buildings is commonly applied across many countries. Geothermal and heat pumps are only used in few through enabling policies and energy pricing or where resources are available. Transport biofuel investments have been stagnant over the past years due to sustainability constraints, low crude oil prices and the high upfront costs of advanced biofuel pathways. Electric vehicles are showing promising developments where their sales have exceeded the 2 million threshold at the end of 2017.