Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy often provides energy in four important areas: electricity generation, air and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural (off-grid) energy services. Based on REN21's 2016 report, renewables contributed 19.2% to humans' global energy consumption and 23.7% to their generation of electricity in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Worldwide investments in renewable technologies amounted to more than US$286 billion in 2015, with countries like China and the United States heavily investing in wind, hydro, solar and biofuels.Renewable energy technologies are getting economical, through technological change and through the benefits of mass production and market competition. Renewable energy is also to a great extent the solution for new grid-connected capacity in areas with good resources. As the core cost of renewable power falls, the scope of economically viable applications increases. Renewable technologies are now often the most economic solution for procreating capacity. Where "oil-fired generation is the predominant power generation source (e.g. on islands, off-grid and in some countries) a lower-cost renewable solution almost always exists today".
SAM works closely with EERE of US, along with other non-competitive sourses like:
- Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs)
- Formula Grants
- Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Awards
- Technology Investment Agreement (TIA)
- Unsolicited Proposals