Last year’s COP21 summit saw global economic powers and leading greenhouse gas emitters—including the United States, China, and India—commit to the most ambitious clean energy targets to date. Bolstered by sharp reductions in costs and supportive government policies, renewable power spread globally at its fastest-ever rate in 2015, accounting for more than half of the world’s additional electricity capacity. Still, questions remain about whether renewables are on track to reach the ambitious targets set by the Paris Agreement.
On October 31, the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate hosted the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s “Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2016.” This annual study examines how renewable energy in the power, heat, and transportation sectors will evolve over the next five years and explores recent renewable deployment and policy trends across different regions and countries. IEA’s Heymi Bahar presented the findings of the report, after which Energy Security and Climate Initiative Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger moderated a panel discussion and audience Q&A.