AbstractThere is no room now for climate change scepticism. It is evident to all that climate change is happening – the results can be seen in many countries. Floods, freaks storms, wind speeds of more than 80 mph, heat waves, droughts, rising sea levels and disappearing glaciers, largely due to excessive use of fossil fuels. Climate change acceleration began slowly in the 1970s but has now increased beyond our ability to stop it or reduce its impact. Using renewable energy effectively on a large scale will put an end or considerably slow down this process in many parts of the world. Installations of the 70s and 80s were limited to kilowatts while in the 2010s we speak in terms of megawatts. The cost of most renewable energy systems have been reduced by so much that they have reached parity with fossil fuels or are even cheaper. The most effective progress has been made in photovoltaic systems: the cost of turnkey installations say for 5 MW is $6 million. Governments in European countries are using Feed-in-Tariffs which has made the payback period of installing a large system less than 1.25 years. Similarly, Concentrated Solar Power, biomass, wind energy and hydro-power have greatly improved payback periods. Countries such as Morocco have pledged to produce 40% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2020, while Austria has declared that by 2050 all its energy will come from renewable sources. It is clear from the media and UN Reports that there is no country which is not utilising renewable energy to some extent, but what is urgently needed is for this use to be redoubled immediately to prevent the earth heating by more than 2 C. While much is hoped from the outcome of the December 2015 Paris climate summit, realistically in the past very few nations honoured their pledges. A great deal of aid has been given to poor countries which are suffering from climate change; however the donor nations have failed to restrict their own carbon emissions. Many poor countries feel they are being expected to forgo the industrial benefits which came from the industrial revolution powered by fossil fuels. In this paper all renewable energy potential application and innovation are being discussed so that the reader can see the large achievement is reached to make renewable energy a major form of energy.
Keywords: Climate change, Photovoltaic progress, Solar thermal applications, Wind energy, Biomass and biogas, Fuel cells and Hydropower.