Global investments in renewables totalled $286 billion in 2015, around 3 per cent higher than the previous record in 2011, according to new research by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report found coal and gas-fired electricity generation drew less than half the record investment made in solar, wind and other renewables capacity.
This is the tenth year UNEP and Bloomberg New Energy Finance have released the report, which examines investment in renewable energy technologies such as waste to energy, geothermal, solar, wind, biomass, tidal, and small hydropower at a country level. This includes all investments in renewables including early stage technology, research and development, and spending on new capacity.
Key findings from the report include:
- Investment in total new renewables capacity was $266 billion, which is more than double the amount (130 billion) invested in coal and gas power stations in 2015.
- An exciting first for developing economies whose investments in renewables (up 19 per cent in 2015) where higher than developed economies (down 8 per cent).
- Solar and wind energy were by far the most dominant technologies, with developing countries spending more on wind $67.4 v $42.2 billion) than developed countries.
- There is a growing focus on electricity storage from renewable energy with 250MW of storage installed globally, an increase from 160MW in 2014.
A follow up report, Global Trends in Renewable Energy, will be released in June 2016.