Recent developments of Renewable Energy – New Champions rising and former frontrunners falling back

Mr Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes Vice-President European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF), Germany

Mr Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes
European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF), Belgium

By Mr Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, Vice-President of European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF), Belgium &
German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE), Germany.

Renewable Energy markets and deployment of various technologies harvesting renewable energy sources have been growing significantly during the last few decades and particularly during the last few years. Renewable energy investment was less affected then other sectors by the financial and economic crisis hitting global economy. At the same time, policy ambition and resulting market growth is shifting remarkably – from developed countries to the developing world, particularly from Europe to Asia, but also to Africa and to South America. In my keynote talk, I will shed some light on why Europe (and particularly some of the former frontrunners) are falling back in the global race for a sustainable energy future.
In parallel, decoupling of economic growth and greenhouse gas reduction is becoming more and more obvious, the material basis for this being unprecedented cost decrease and resulting market growth for renewable energy technologies, with onshore wind and solar PV meanwhile becoming the cheapest available solutions in an increasing number of countries and regions around the world.
I will describe and analyze status and perspectives of renewable energy technologies and sources for electricity, for heating & cooling and for transport – with a focus on most recent developments and trends including first assessment of 2016 market and policy development and resulting trends.”


Rainer is an experienced Renewable Energy expert. Since May 2014, he has been serving as a Vice-President of EREF (European Renewable Energies Federation), the voice of independent producers of energy from renewable sources. From 2010 to 2014 he was EREF’s President. Furthermore, he was the President of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), the umbrella organization of Renewables in Europe, until it had to be dissolved in March 2014.
Rainer is a Board Member of the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) and the Chairman of BEE’s working group for European and international affairs.
Representing EREF, he is a Steering Committee Member of the Global Policy Network REN21.
He is a Member of the WREN-Council, the advisory structure of the World Renewable Energy Network and he is the Chairman of WREN’s Policy Committee.
Recently, he agreed to become the associate editor for Policy, Education and Sustainability of the open access journal Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability.
From November 1998 to December 2005, he was a Director General in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), in charge of – among other things – renewable energy and climate protection.