Energy is stored in a range of energy sources, which can be renewable or non-renewable. Renewable sources of energy are those that can be replenished in a short period of time, as opposed to non-renewable sources of energy.
The use of renewable sources of energy is less polluting, compared to that of non-renewable sources. Specifically, increased reliance on renewable sources of energy is a key element of efforts to avert climate change.
Renewable sources of energy today make an insignificant contribution to total energy use, compared to that of non-renewable sources. A range of barriers hamper the widespread deployment of renewable energy technologies.
The United Nations Environment Programme helps developing country governments break down barriers to the deployment of renewable energy technologies:
- It undertakes assessments of solar and wind energy resources, and commissions research studies to inform public and private sector decision-making - with a view to breaking down information barriers
- It works with local banks to set up end-user financing mechanisms for renewable energy technologies and works with the international finance industry (including banks and insurance companies) to lower risks for larger projects - with a view to breaking down financial barriers
- It provides advice to developing country governments on broad policy approaches to bolster renewable sources of energy and supports the creation of an enabling environment for small- and micro-businesses in the area of renewable energy - with a view to breaking policy and institutional barriers.