While renewable energy sources remain a small proportion of total energy sources, they continue their double digit growth.
Global wind power increased by 20% world wide according to the Global Wind Energy Council. Global wind power capacity has grown to 47,317MW.
Europe continued to dominate the global market in 2004, accounting for 72.4% of new installations (5,774 MW). Asia had a 15.9% installation share (1,269 MW), followed by North America (6.4%; 512 MW) and the Pacific Region (4.1%; 325 MW). Latin America and the Caribbean (49 MW) and Africa (47 MW) had a 0.6% market share respectively.
Solar power grew by nearly seventy percent.
Last year, world solar cell production reached 1,256 megawatts (MW) or about enough to power more than 1.2 million average American homes during daytime.
That was a 67 percent increase over the 750 MW produced in 2003, according to PHOTON International, a German magazine.
"In Japan they're making solar cells because of high electricity prices. Solar panels are selling like hot cakes there," said Colin Murchie, director of legislative affairs at Solar Energy Industries Association in Washington, D.C.
"Germany is boosting output because they want to meet Kyoto Protocol goals," said Murchie. Under the international pact that went into force earlier this year most industrialized nations, excluding the United States and Australia which did not sign the pact, must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Utilities and cars mostly produce such gases.
In 2002 the world solar market increased 40 percent.
Very promising numbers. We can only hope they are not too little, too late.