7.2.1 Renewable Energy Share in total Final Energy Consumption
Target 7.2: By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Custodian Organization(s): International Energy Agency (IEA), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), United Nations’ inter-agency Mechanism on Energy (UN Energy), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Tier Classification: Tier I
To facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs (Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators) into three tiers on the basis of their level of methodological development and the availability of data at the global level, as follows:
Tier I: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.
Tier II: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.
Tier III: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.
Definition: The renewable energy share in total final consumption is the percentage of final consumption of energy that is derived from renewable resources.
Concepts: Renewable energy consumption includes consumption of energy derived from: hydro, solid biofuels, wind, solar, liquid biofuels, biogas, geothermal, marine and waste. Total final energy consumption is calculated from national balances and statistics as total final consumption minus non-energy use.
Comments with regard to specific renewable energy resources:
• Solar energy consumption includes solar PV and solar thermal
• Liquid biofuel energy consumption includes bio-gasoline, biodiesels and other liquid biofuels
• Solid biofuel consumption includes fuelwood, animal waste, vegetable waste, black liquor, bagasse and charcoal
• Waste energy covers energy from renewable municipal waste
Rationale: The target “By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix” impacts all three dimensions of sustainable development. Renewable energy technologies represent a major element in strategies for greening economies everywhere in the world and for tackling the critical global problem of climate change. A number of definitions of renewable energy exist; what they have in common is highlighting as renewable all forms of energy that their consumption does not deplete their availability in the future. These include solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, geothermal resources, and bioenergy (in the case of bioenergy, which can be depleted, sources of bioenergy can be replaced within a short to medium-term frame). Importantly, this indicator focuses on the amount of renewable energy actually consumed rather than the capacity for renewable energy production, which cannot always be fully utilized. By focusing on consumption by the end user, it avoids the distortions caused by the fact that conventional energy sources are subject to significant energy losses along the production chain.
Limitations: A limitation with existing renewable energy statistics is that they are not able to distinguish whether renewable energy is being sustainably produced. For example, a substantial share of today’s renewable energy consumption comes from the use of wood and charcoal by households in the developing world, which sometimes may be associated with unsustainable forestry practices. There are efforts underway to improve the ability to measure the sustainability of bio-energy, although this remains a significant challenge.
Off-grid renewables data is limited and not sufficiently captured in the energy statistics. The method of allocation of renewable energy consumption from electricity and heat output assumes that the share of transmission and distribution losses are the same between all technologies. However, this is not always true because renewables are usually located in more remote areas from consumption centers and may incur larger losses.
Likewise, imports and exports of electricity and heat are assumed to follow the share of renewability of electricity and heat generation, respectively. This is a simplification that in many cases will not affect the indicator too much, but that might do so in some cases, for example, when a country only generates electricity from fossil fuels but imports a great share of the electricity it uses from a neighboring country’s hydroelectric power plant.
Methodological challenges associated with defining and measuring renewable energy are more fully described the Global Tracking Framework (IEA and World Bank, 2013) Chapter 4, Section 1, page 194-200. Data for traditional use of solid biofuels are generally scares globally, and developing capacity in tracking such energy use, including developing national level surveys, is essential for sound global energy tracking.
Data Source: Data for this indicator was primarily collected from the United Nations Statistics Division’s Open SDG Data Hub. National level data from the UN Statistics Division is compiled by the respective custodian for the SDG indicator, unless otherwise noted. To learn more about the data used in this portal, visit the about page.
Data is accurate as of October 31, 2018.
7.2.1 Renewable Energy Share in total Final Energy Consumption in the Sustainable Development Goals
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7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential.
Sustainable energy is opportunity – it transforms lives, economies and the planet.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is leading a Sustainable Energy for All initiative to ensure universal access to modern energy services, improve efficiency and increase use of renewable sources.
Related 7.2.1 Renewable Energy Share in total Final Energy Consumption Targets
By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix