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Green Future Needs Stimulus Spurring Faster Renewables Expansion

Vehicles drive along the 280 freeway in this aerial photograph taken over Menlo Park, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. Threats to publicize unsubstantiated incidents of sexual impropriety unnerved former Sequoia Capital partner Michael Goguen and other Valley luminaries, according to a federal indictment.

Governments around the world are key to spurring renewables growth in laggard sectors like heating and transport.

While power generation from renewable sources had a record year in 2019, the growth of clean energy in several sectors was slower, according to a report by REN21. Plans to help economies rebound from the coronavirus pandemic could speed up the development of new technologies key to hitting emissions targets.

“Let’s seize this unique moment to create lasting policies, regulations and targets, and an environment that enables the switch to an efficient and renewable-based energy system,” REN21’s Executive Director Rana Adib said in the report published on Tuesday.

Renewable World

The European Union’s 750 billion-euro ($844 billion) stimulus plan, due to be discussed by the bloc’s leaders later this week, is the world’s greenest package. It requires governments to use the funds only for projects that would be in line with EU goal to become climate-neutral by 2050.

Last year, the installed green power capacity had the largest increase ever. Overall, the amount of renewables was enough to provide an estimated 27% of global electricity generation by the end of 2019.

Power Per Person

Transport remained the sector with the lowest share of renewables at only 3.3%, even as it accounts for about a third of energy consumption.

REN21 is an international coalition of governments, renewable energy associations and financial institutions.