This study investigates the growth in global renewable energy use between 2000 and 2014. To identify its main contributors and their geographical distribution, a structural decomposition analysis is applied to global multi-regional input-output tables. A new variant of this type of analysis is developed that introduces energy transition (i.e. the substitution of non-renewable energy by renewable energy) as one of the contributors. Global renewable energy use rose by 22.1 Exa Joules (EJ), from 57.8 EJ in 2000 to 79.9 in 2014. The contribution of energy transition at the global level to this 22.1 EJ increase was small and positive (+1.3 EJ). As for the geographical distribution of the effects, positive effects are found for the European Union and the United States, negative effects for China, India, and the Rest of the World (which includes many developing and emerging countries). Trade structure changes also had a small effect on global renewable energy use (+1.1 EJ). The main contributions were the worldwide changes in: technology and overall energy efficiency (−23.6 EJ); consumption per capita (+32.2EJ); and population (+11.0 EJ).