Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015
Renewables Re-energized: Green Energy Investments Worldwide Surge 17% to $270 Billion in 2014
According to UNEP's 9th "Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015", prepared by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance — the past year brought a rebound of green energy investments worldwide with a surge of a solid 17% to $270 Billion. Brushing aside the challenge of sharply lower crude oil prices this sudden increase reveresed the investment dip of the past two years and was mainly driven by investments in solar and wind energy.
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- China saw by far the biggest renewable energy investments in 2014 — a record $83.3 billion, up 39% from 2013. The US was second at $38.3 billion, up 7% on the year but well below its all-time high reached in 2011. Third came Japan, at $35.7 billion, 10% higher than in 2013 and its biggest total ever.
- A key feature of the 2014 result was the rapid expansion of renewables into new markets in developing countries. Investment in developing countries, at $131.3 billion, was up 36% on the previous year and came the closest ever to overhauling the total for developed economies, at $138.9 billion, up just 3% on the year. Additional to China, Brazil ($7.6 billion), India ($7.4 billion) and South Africa ($5.5 billion) were all in the top 10 of investing countries while more than $1 billion was invested in Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, Kenya and Turkey.
- Wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-power, geothermal, small hydro and marine power contributed an estimated 9.1% of world electricity generation in 2014, compared to 8.5% in 2013. This would be equivalent to a saving of 1.3 gigatonnes of CO2 taking place as a result of the installed capacity of those renewable sources.
- As in previous years, the market in 2014 was dominated by record investments in solar and wind, which accounted for 92% of overall investment in renewable power and fuels. Investment in solar jumped 29% to $149.6 billion, the second highest figure ever, while wind investment increased 11% to a record $99.5 billion. These expenditures added 49GW of wind capacity and 46GW of solar PV, both records.
- Investment in Europe advanced less than 1% to $57.5 billion. There were seven billion-dollar-plus financings of offshore wind projects, boosting the investment totals for the Netherlands, the UK and Germany. These included, at the euro equivalent of $3.8 billion, the largest single renewable energy asset finance deal ever, outside large hydro – that of the 600MW Gemini project in Dutch waters.
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The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment Report (GTR) is a sister publication to the Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) produced by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century REN21. The most recent edition of the GSR,launch date mid-June 2015, will be available at www.ren21.net/gsr. It provides an overview of renewable energy market, industry, investment and policy developments worldwide.