GLOBE-Net, June 18, 2012. Against an
increasingly rough and tumble competitive landscape, total
investment in renewables excluding large hydro last year
increased 17% to a record $257 billion, a six-fold increase on the
2004 figure and 94% higher than the total in 2007, the year
before the world financial crisis, says the UNEP report,
Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment
The report was prepared by the UNEP Collaborating Centre
for Climate and Sustainable Energy Finance in association
with Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Although last year's 17% increase was smaller than the 37%
rise recorded in 2010, it was achieved against the backdrop of
a widening sovereign debt crisis in Europe and during a period
of rapidly falling prices for renewable power equipment.
In more and more countries, renewable
energy has outgrown its "niche player" status and
now represents a significant and rapidly growing share of
total energy supply.
REN21's Renewables 2012 Global Status Report notes that
during 2011, renewables continued to grow strongly in all
end-use sectors - power, heating and cooling and transport.
Renewable sources have grown to supply 16.7 % of global final
Of that, traditional biomass's share has declined slightly,
while modern renewable energy's share has risen. In 2011,
renewable energy technologies continued to expand into new
markets: around 50 countries installed wind power capacity, and
solar PV capacity was moving rapidly into new regions and
Solar hot water collectors are used by more than 200
million households as well as in many public and commercial
buildings all around the world.
In the power sector, renewables accounted for almost half of the
estimated 208 gigawatts (GW) of electric capacity added
globally during the year. By the end of 2011, total renewable power
capacity worldwide exceeded 1,360 GW, up 8% over 2010;
renewables comprised more than 25% of total global
power-generating capacity (estimated at 5,360 GW in 2011) and
supplied an estimated 20.3% of global electricity.
Solar generation surged
past wind power to become the renewable energy technology of
choice for global investors in 2011.
Solar attracted nearly twice as much investment as wind,
driving the renewables sector to yet another record-breaking year,
albeit one beset with challenges for the renewables industry.
Total investment in solar power jumped 52% jump to $147
China remained the leader, with $52 billion of renewables
investment, excluding large hydro, closely followed by the US
with $51 billion.
Europe remains the biggest region for dollars invested, with
$101 billion in 2011. Among the other major developing
economies, the star performer was India, where the country's
National Solar Mission helped to spur an impressive 62% increase in
renewable energy investment to $12 billion, the fastest
investment expansion of any large renewables market in
the world. In Brazil, there was an 8% increase to $7
At least 118 countries, more than half of which are developing
countries, had renewable energy targets in place by early
2012, up from 96 one year before, although some slackening of
policy support was seen in developed countries.
This weakening reflected austerity pressures, particularly in
Europe, and legislative deadlock in the US Congress. Support
for renewable power generation remains the most popular policy
option with at least 65 countries and 27 states now having
Canada's investment in clean energy grew to $5.5 billion in 2011 with over 85% of those
investments directed towards wind resources and to the solar
the full report Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment
2012 is available for download here.
Adapted from: PICS
News Scan - Produced by ISIS, Sauder School of Business,
UBC - Authors: Neil Thomson, Kristina
Welch, Justin Bull, James Noble, Tim
Shah Editors: James Tansey, Tom Pedersen, Jessica