Renewable energy replaces conventional fuels in four distinctive areas: electricity generation, hot water/space heating, motor fuels, and rural (off-grid) energy services:
Power generation. As of 2013, renewable energy provides 21.7% of electrical energy generation international. Renewable energy producers are extended athwart many countries, and wind power alone already provides a momentous share of electricity in a few areas. An excellent example is, 14% in the U.S. state of Iowa, 40% in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, and 49% in Denmark. Many countries receive most of their power from renewables, including New Zealand (65%), Norway (98%), Iceland (100%), Brazil (86%), Austria (62%), and Sweden (54%).
Heating. Solar water heating makes a significant input to renewable heat in numerous countries, especially in China, which now has 70% of the universal total (180 GWth). The majorities of these systems are installed on multi-family apartment buildings and meet a piece of the hot water requirements of an estimated 50–60 million households in China. Global, total installed solar water heating systems meet a segment of the water heating necessities. The utilization of biomass for heating continues to cultivate. In Sweden, countrywide use of biomass energy has exceeded that of oil. Direct geothermal for warming is also increasing quickly.
Transport fuels. Renewable biofuels have contributed to a major reject in oil utilization in the United States since 2006. The 93 billion liters of biofuels created internationally in 2009 dislocated the comparable of an estimated 68 billion liters of gasoline, equivalent to about 5% of the globe’s gas creation.
As of 2011, miniature solar PV systems supply electricity to a few million households, and micro-hydro configured into mini-grids serves many more. Over 44 million households use biogas created in household-scale digesters for lighting and/or cooking. As a result, more than 166 million households rely on a new generation of more-efficient biomass cookstoves. United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that renewable energy has the capability to raise the poorest nations to new stages of wealth.
At the national level, at least 30 countries around the globe already have renewable energy supplying more than 20% of energy supply. National renewable energy markets are estimated to continue to produce strongly in the coming decade and beyond, and some 120 countries have a variety of policy targets for longer-term shares of renewable energy, including a 20% goal of all electricity generated by the European Union by 2020. Some countries have much superior long-term policy targets of up to 100% renewables. Outside Europe, a varied group of 20 or more other countries aim for renewable energy shares in the 2020–2030 timeframe that array from 10% to 50%.
Climate change and global warming concerns, joined with peak oil, high oil prices, and increasing government support, are motivating growing renewable energy legislation, incentives, and commercialization. New government expenditure, guidelines, and policies helped the business weather the global financial crisis better than many other sectors. According to a 2011 estimation by the International Energy Agency, solar power producers may create most of the world’s electricity within 50 years, plummeting the emissions of greenhouse gasses that damage the atmosphere.
Renewable energy sources, that originate their energy from the sun, either directly or indirectly, such as wind and hydro, are anticipated to be capable of supplying the human race’s power for approximately 1 billion more years, at which point the predicted boost in warmth from the sun is predicted to construct the exterior of the globe too warm for liquid water to subsist.