Global renewable energy investments grow; India leads

Investment in India skyrocketed by 62 percent – the highest growth rate for any single country, over 2010 totals, the report noted.

New investments in renewable energy and fuels hit $257 billion globally in 2011, with India having the sharpest growth and China attracting the largest amount of deals, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute.

Investment in India skyrocketed by 62 percent – the highest growth rate for any single country, over 2010 totals, the report noted.

On the other hand China earned new investments of $52.2 billion in 2011, the largest sum for any country. “This accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total new investments in developing countries and more than 20 per cent of the global total,» said the report.

But during the previous year, new financial investment in renewable energy installations in industrial countries, a category that excludes small scale projects and research and development, surpassed investments in developing nations. This was after investments in this category in developing countries exceeded those in industrial countries for the first time in 2010.

Thus, the total renewable energy investments in industrial countries in 2011 accounted for 65 percent of global investments, growing 21 percent to $168 billion.

In 2010, the total of worldwide investment in the renewable power and fuel sector reached $220 billion, said Worldwatch Institute.

Worldwatch stressed that the 35 percent of new global investment that went to developing countries increased 10 percent to $89 billion, of which China, India and Brazil accounted for $71 billion.

Meanwhile, the major development in 2011 was the dominance of solar power in “technology-specific” investments, pushed by a 50 percent drop in price over the year. This resulted in $147.4 billion in investment in the solar industry, which is notably higher than the $83.8 billion for wind projects and $10.6 billion for biomass and waste-to-energy technologies.

«Although this was not the first time solar surpassed wind in total investment, it was the first time that this involved such a wide margin,» the report stated.

Biofuels, which held the second overall ranking in renewable energy technologies since 2006, gained the fourth highest total investment in 2011 with $6.8 billion, followed by small hydro and geothermal installations with $5.8 billion and $2.9 billion, respectively. Marine power technologies got only $200 million, “as they have not yet been commercially deployed,” said Worldwatch.

«In terms of the pace of growth, however, the United States scored an impressive 57 percent growth in investment over 2010 levels, outpacing all countries except India’s 62 percent. Overall, the United States ranks second in total national renewable energy investment at $50.8 billion, followed by Germany at $31 billion,» the report notes.

«Renewable energy technologies can enhance access to reliable, affordable, and clean modern energy services,» said Evan Musolino, climate and energy research associate and report co-author.

«They are particularly well suited for remote rural populations, and in many instances they can provide the lowest-cost option for energy access. For these potentials to be met, new investment in the sector is essential,» he added. – C. Dominguez – EcoSeed



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