Global renewable energy growth outstrips dirty alternatives

Press release - June 24, 2011
Auckland, June 24 2011: A new report by Greenpeace International shows that since the 1990s, installations of wind and solar grew faster than any other power plant technology [1]. Together with the rest of the global expansion of sources of renewable energy, these new sources would provide enough energy to supply New Zealand 45 times over.

The Greenpeace report, The Silent Energy Revolution: 20 Years in the Making, also highlights how renewable energy power plants accounted for more than a quarter (26%) of all new power plants added to the worldwide electricity grid over the past decade.

“With renewable energy now the world’s fastest growing source of power plant installations, our Government has a simple, clear choice,” says Greenpeace NZ Climate Change Campaigner Nathan Argent.

“As a renewable energy powerhouse, with a wealth of renewable energy know-how, the Government can choose to place our home grown talent at the heart of this global, clean energy revolution [2], or it can shackle our economy to the dirty fossil fuels of yesterday.

“If it chooses the clean energy route, our world class ingenuity could not only be the building blocks of a cleaner, more prosperous economy here at home, it could be part of the global solution to climate change.

“The starting gun of the clean energy race has been fired, and the Government must act now to ensure New Zealand’s clean energy pioneers get out of the blocks or risk being left behind as spectators,” Argent says.

The Silent Energy Revolution report shows that between 2000 and 2010, the construction of new coal plants went into decline in every country except China. However, not only has China phased out some of its dirtiest coal plants over the last five years, it has doubled its capacity in the domestic wind market every year since 2003 and since 2009 has invested more money in the renewables industry, than in coal.

The Silent Energy Revolution: 20 Years in the Making can be downloaded from Greenpeace International’s website, at