In 2006, about 18 percent of global final energy consumption came from renewables. 2 This is greater than the share of renewables in primary energy supplies, because renewables tend to be generated closer to their point of use with less being wasted in transportation and transmission. New renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and small hydro, still represent a small fraction of the total renewable sources (which includes large hydro projects) but are growing rapidly.
Globally, solar generation is the fastest growing source of energy worldwide, having an annual average growth of 35% over the past few years. 3 Japan, Europe, China, the US and India are the major growing investors in solar energy. Advances in technology and economies of scale, along with demand for solutions to global warming, have led photovoltaics to become the most likely candidate to replace nuclear and fossil fuels. 4
Within the US, California is the hub of development in new solar energy technologies.
2. Global Status Report 2007,
3. World energy resources and consumption, en.wikipedia.org, [cached]
4. Why PV is Important, eere.energy.gov,