There has been a rising awareness worldwide that renewable energy and energy efficiency are critical not only for addressing climate change, but also for creating new economic opportunities and for providing energy access to the billions of people still living without modern energy services. Over the past decade, and particularly in recent years, advances in renewable energy technologies, global increases in capacity, and rapid cost reductions have been due largely to policy support, which has attracted significant investment and has further driven down costs through economies of scale.
Renewable energy continued to grow in 2014 against the backdrop of increasing global energy consumption and a dramatic decline in oil prices during the second half of the year. In 2014, renewable energy expanded significantly in terms of capacity installed and energy produced, with renewable energy investments in the power sector outpacing net investments in fossil fuel power plants. The most rapid growth and the largest increase in renewable capacity occurred in the power sector and was dominated by three technologies: wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), and hydropower.
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