Skip to main content

Renewables around the world: A snapshot

Nathan Mann our consultant managing the role
Posted by Nathan Mann
Published on 18 January 2018

The renewables market is continuing to disrupt the traditional energy industry. In 2016 alone, renewables represented nearly two-thirds of new net electricity capacity additions around the world, and it’s predicted that global renewable electricity capacity will expand up to 43% by 2022. While this is understandably good news for the environment, it’s also set to provide myriad new work opportunities for those employed by the renewables industry.

We’re always keeping a close eye on updates and developments within renewables, particularly as our expertise within the industry grows and we continue to match talented candidates with some of the biggest and most exciting projects in the business. As such, we’ve put together an overview of the market as it sits currently. Here’s what’s going on in the world of renewables:

A record year for Danish wind power

Denmark is well on target for surpassing its EU energy target, with the nation’s government working towards having at least 50% of all energy needs met by renewable energy by the year 2030. The record-setting 2017 year saw 43.4% of Denmark’s total electricity consumption supplied by wind power. This is a significant improvement over a short time, with wind power in 2008 accounting for just 19.3% of total energy consumption. And as more offshore wind farms are developed in the coming years, we can expect to see not only higher renewables records set, but also more jobs created to support the growing industry in the nation.

The Danish news feeds into a larger worldwide trend of wind power development. It’s anticipated that the global offshore wind market is set to grow six fold by 2030, with the UK, Germany, Netherlands, China, Taiwan and US leading the charge.

Renewable energy continues to grow in the UK

The United Kingdom has long been a major player when it comes to renewable energy production and consumption. And in late 2017, a new record was hit when the share of electricity generated from renewable sources in the nation reached a high of 30%. Wind energy was particularly dominant, thanks largely to significant investment by the government in renewable energy projects. Richard Harrington, Minister for Energy and Industry, says the offshore wind sector alone will see £17.5bn invested in the UK up to 2021, generating thousands of new jobs. Wind farms across the nation generated more electricity than coal plants on more than three-quarters of the days in 2017, according to MyGridGB, with solar outperforming coal on 180 days of the year.

Overall, the UK broke 13 renewable energy records in 2017, making it the greenest ever year for the nation. Not only does that bode well for a cleaner future, but also for job creation across the country.

Germany hits new renewable heights

Following in the UK’s footsteps is Germany, which ran entirely on renewable energy for the first time on the first day of 2018. The consumption was spread across onshore wind, biomass, offshore wind and hydropower. Earlier in 2017, Germany saw the same renewable energies providing a then-record 85% of the country’s total energy, showing steady progress is being made in the bid to move toward a greener energy future.

China continues to lead the way

Responsible for 40% of global renewable capacity growth, China has already met – and exceeded – its 2020 solar PV target, and is expected to surpass its 2020 wind target by next year. With a significant £292bn investment in renewable power by 2020, the nation will remain the global renewable growth leader and is tipped to continue to dominate hydropower and bioenergy. However, we expect to see the United States and India grow their influence in these areas as renewable generation becomes more competitive overall.

Looking for your next renewable energy job?

As the market continues to thrive, we’re looking forward to placing more talented candidates in opportunities around the world. For our latest available roles, click here. For more blogs on the renewables market, click here.