Renewables Global Futures Report

The REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report (GFR) is a pioneering publication that provides access to the range of credible possibilities on the future of renewable energy. The report is based on interviews with over 170 leading experts around the world and the projections of 50 recently published scenarios. The report can serve as a tool for dialogue and discussion on future options, and compliments well the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report.

Released in January 2013, the report was authored by Eric Martinot and was the product of a unique collaboration between REN21 and the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) during 2011-2012. See also the REN21 Policy Network for the 21st Century -- Global Futures Report page.

Below are download links, the table of contents, and testimonials about the report.

Download the Report

REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report (PDF, 76 pages, 3.6 MB)

Supplementary Files

Supplementary Materials: Glossary, Bibliography, and Endnotes (PDF, 28 pages, 0.8 MB)
Scenario Profiles Report (PDF, 70 pages, 1.0 MB)


"Dr. Eric Martinot and the unique REN21 global network of top renewable energy experts have done it again! Lucid, authoritative, and comprehensive, this valuable synthesis illuminates today's best thinking on renewable energy futures." -Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

"The report gives substance to the range of choice which is ours. It is a composite picture of the possible. And it is a 'welcome' to a world in which our children can live." -David Hales, President, Second Nature

"Really an admirable achievement! Considering the enormous amount of data and viewpoints collected, the author manages to get all that information into something readable and interesting." -Tomas Kaberger, Executive Board Chairman, Japan Renewable Energy Foundation

"Report author Eric Martinot uses present status as a starting point for visions of the future, creating an innovative blend of present and future. The report provides a full and objective range of visions, based on the collective and contemporary thinking of many." -Mohamed El-Ashry, Former Chairman, REN21, and Senior Fellow, UN Foundation

"The REN21 Global Futures Report crowd-sources a vision for the future of the world energy system from the collective wisdom of 170 experts. The author has sifted through much noise and uncertainty to produce a picture that is as clear as it is uplifting. A remarkable tour de force." -Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

"This remarkable report will be invaluable to anyone who needs to understand the wide range of expert conclusions about the direction and pace of the ongoing energy revolution. I don't think that anyone but Eric Martinot could have pulled this off." -Christopher Flavin, President Emeritus, Worldwatch Institute

"The Renewables Global Futures Report 2013 is excellent work. It shows what optimistic experts have said all along:  A transition of the world's energy system to 100% renewables is possible in a few decades." -Hans-Josef Fell, member of the German parliament

Report Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  1. How Much Renewables? (Total Energy Shares, Electricity Shares, Heating/Cooling Shares, and Transport Shares)
  2. Integrated Futures: Challenges and Possibilities (Utility Power Grids, Buildings, Industry, and Transport)
  3. Investment Futures: Flows, Investors, and Business Models (Amounts and Sources of Investment and Business Model Possibilities)
  4. Futures at the Local/City Level: Initiative, Planning and Policy (Urban Planning and Built-Infrastructure, Urban Mobility, and 100% Renewable Communities)
  5. Futures at the National and EU Levels: Market Growth and Policy Support (Europe, United States, Japan, China, India, and Other Developing Countries)
  6. Evolution of Technologies, Costs, and Global Market Growth (Wind, Solar PV, Solar Thermal Power (CSP), Biomass, Hydro, Geothermal, Ocean, and Biofuels)
  • Conclusion: Transformational Change?
  • Epilogue: Speaking Personally (Views of the Author)

Scenarios Covered in the Report

See the Renewables Global Futures Report Scenarios section on the Renewable Energy Futures page of this site.

Web Reviews

Conventional Wisdom About Clean Energy Is Still Way Out of Date, Greentech Media, May 9, review by Chris Nelder

Enlightening and Empowering: REN21's Global Futures Report on Renewables, by David Hales, President, Second Nature (Education for Sustainability)

Renewable Energy to 2050 Blog

For ongoing discussion and further items on renewables futures, see also Eric Martinot's new blog, Renewable Energy Futures to 2050.

Page updated February 22, 2014