The Strategist

Green energy investments are at the height

06/01/2016 - 14:21

At the end of 2015, investments in alternative energy and introduction of new generating capacity throughout the world reached a new record. Experts note that the interest in alternative energy has not decreased, even against the background of the fallen oil prices. One-third of the world's investment in alternative energy sources has come from China.

Steve Wilson via flickr
Steve Wilson via flickr
‘Renewables 2016 Global Status Report’ was prepared by an international public organization Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN 21). The latter includes representatives from many countries, non-governmental organizations, research and business companies. 

The report marked a growth of investments in alternative energy and new power capacities. To compare, investments of this kind numbered $ 273 billion in 2014, and grew to $ 286 billion in 2015. Power capacity (excluding hydroelectric) rose from 665 GW in 2014 to 785 GW in 2015. The capacity growth is marked for all kinds of alternative energy, from biofuel and geothermal energy to wind and solar. "Global investment in renewable energy reached a new record high, despite the drop in hydrocarbon prices, growth of the dollar (which reduced amount of non-dollar investments in US dollar terms), and continued low growth of the European economy – noted the report’s authors. – For the sixth consecutive year, investments in renewable energy has overtaken net investment in fossil fuels. "

The report's authors said that for this is the first time in the history when total investment in renewable energy in developing countries exceeded that in developed countries. Developing countries have increased their investments by 19% compared to 2014 year - up to $ 156 billion. Lion's share of investment came from China - $ 102 billion, accounted for 36% of total global investment. Growth of investments in alternative energy marked in countries such as India, South Africa, Mexico, Chile, Morocco, Uruguay, Pakistan and Honduras. The activities, gingered up in developing countries, could offset 8%-decline in investment from developed countries. The money injections mostly declined in Europe (by 21%, to $ 48.8 billion). In turn, the US investment increased by 19%, to $ 44 billion, largely due to development of solar energy technologies.

According to the International Energy Agency, precisely reduction in coal use in China and the US, as well as rapid development of renewable energy in the world have made the most significant contribution to the reduction of global emissions. For example, greenhouse gas emissions are not growing for the second consecutive year (staying at 32.1 billion tons) on the background of the global GDP growth (3% in 2015). Last year, level of greenhouse gas emissions in China (the world’s leader in this relation) fell by 1.5% and in the USA (the second place) - 2%.

Traditionally, most inactive are Russia and the countries of South-Eastern and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. All abovementioned are rather slack in realizing potential of renewable energy development. The total investment in renewable energy sources (excluding large hydropower plants) in the 17 countries of the region in 2014 amounted to only 0.5% of global clean energy investment, according to a study of renewable energy development over the past 20 years, conducted by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and analytical organization REN21 with participation of the International energy agency and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.