Investments in renewable energy hit record levels
According to the Renewables Global Status report, in 2015, double the amount was spent in investments in renewables than new coal and gas-fired power plants. By the end of 2015, renewable energy was enough to yield 23.7% of the world's electricity. The report, released by REN21 stated that a record amount of 1,849 gigawatts (GW) of power from renewable sources was generated in 2015.
REN21, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century is a global renewable energy multi-stakeholder policy network. Its goal is to promote knowledge exchange and policy development towards a global transition to renewable energy. An international non-profit association, it brings together governments, NGO's, research and academic institutions, international organisations and industries. It is based at UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) in Paris, France.
Topping the league table for investment in renewable power and fuels apart from large-scale hydro was China, followed by the United States, Japan, UK and India. Mauritania came first in a league based on investment in proportion to GDP.
More than £107bn out of the total £196.5bn was invested by developing countries like China, India and Brazil. China became the front-runner by expanding it's investments by 17%, which accounted for 36% of the total global investment. There was a notable increase in investments in developing countries like Morocco, Uruguay, Philippines and Pakistan. In developed countries, investments declined by 8% altogether.
There was a considerable slump in Europe's investments on green energy, down 21% from the year before. According to the report, Asia invested more into renewables than Europe for the first time in 2015. Out of the total $328.9 billion invested globally in solar, wind and other renewable energy sources, Europe spent $48.8 billion, down from $62 billion a year earlier.
Christine Lins, REN21's executive secretary said, "What is truly remarkable about these results is that they were achieved at a time when fossil fuel prices were at historic lows, and renewables remained at a significant disadvantage in terms of government subsidies."