Investments In Renewable Energy In 2015 Totalled $286 Billion: UN
A record-breaking $286 billion was invested in renewable energy while an estimated $130 billion was allocated for non-renewable electricity generation.
“Renewables are becoming ever more central to our low-carbon lifestyles, and the record-setting investments in 2015 are further proof of this trend,” states United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner in a press release launching the new Global Trends Report. The records saw a 19 percent increase in investments by developing countries compared to an 8 percent decrease in developed countries.
Listed in the report was China, which led the numbers with a 17 percent increase in investments to $102.9 billion, contributing to 36 percent of the world total.
Also included in the list were India, which saw a 22 percent increase to $10.2 billion; South Africa, with a 329 percent increase to $4.5 billion; Mexico, with a 105 percent increase to $4 billion and Chile, with a 151 percent increase to $3.4 billion. Morocco, Turkey and Uruguay were also listed with a combined estimate of more than $1 billion. In totality, developing countries contributed 17 times more than previously recorded in 2004.
The report detailed that investments in developed countries such as Europe was down 21 percent, $62 billion during 2014 to $48.8 billion in 2015. This was an all-time low for the continent in nine years in spite of its investments in recent wind power developments.
The report observed that transitions of developing countries vs. developed countries were caused by a number of factors: China’s prevalent problems regarding air pollution, the continuous rise of the population, electrical demands and renewable energy’s lower cost of meeting the demands, slow economic growth in developed countries and recent economic setbacks in Europe.
The year 2015 saw the increase of attention in stored energy as well. Photovoltaic cells and wind power, which were irregular sources of electricity, demanded a look into storing the extra electricity produced during peak hours of sunlight and wind power into batteries. The report indicated that 250 MW of utility-scale electricity storage (excluding pumped hydro and lead-acid batteries) was installed worldwide, up from 160 MW in 2014.
The global trend in shifting to renewable resources has made such progress since 2004, estimated at $2.3 trillion in all investments. Professor Udo Steffens, president of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, comments, however, that there is still much to be done.