IIR: Renewable energy today

The IIR has just published a new Informatory Note “Renewable Energy Today – A Quick Overview” prepared by Renato Lazzarin (President of IIR Section E “Air conditioning, heat pumps and energy recovery”).

Renewable energy sources are continuously regenerating, so they can be considered practically inexhaustible. In the past, they were widely used as biomasses, hydraulic or wind energy. After the energy crises of the past century, the increased interest in renewable energies led to the development of new technologies for a more efficient use of the above energies and, in particular to the direct exploitation of solar energy with solar thermal and photovoltaic collectors.

The share of renewables in total final energy consumption in the world exceeds 20%, of which about 40% is due to traditional biomass, with the remainder to be attributed to modern renewables. The strongest penetration of renewable technologies is nowadays in electricity production, with a share of over 25% of the world total. The renewable energy sector was estimated to employ 12 million people worldwide in 2020.

The note concludes with a series of recommendations for decision-makers including promotion of the development of renewable energies, in particular through the increased use of thermal solar collectors and heat pumps, beyond the heating of buildings. The training of designers and installers is also emphazised, as well as the implementation of incentive schemes and guidelines to promote technological research in the fields that are not yet mature, such as biofuels, storage and photovoltaic thermal systems.

A Summary for policymakers outlining the main conclusions and recommendations of this Informatory Note is available HERE.