Renewable energy has unprecedented surge
A new Renewables Global Status Report reveals that renewable energy is experiencing unprecedented growth around the world. The study indicated that green energy sources including hydropower, wind and solar experienced the fastest ever growth rate in 2015.
According to the report, the sector attracted more than twice the investments in gas and coal. The investments were more highly concentrated in emerging economies than in developed countries, which is a departure from the past when rich countries dictated the pace of renewable energy investments.
This growth has also seen the number of people employed in the sector rise to more than 8 million.
A matter of cost
The global energy-generating capacity increased by at least 147 gigawatts in 2015. That is about equivalent to Africa’s average generating capacity from all different energy sources.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, India and China were on the forefront as the global leaders in green energy investment in spite of the significant fall in fuel prices. Green energy prices fallen over the past few years as well, according to the report’s authors.
“The fact that we had 147GW of capacity, mainly of wind and solar is a clear indication that these technologies are cost competitive (with fossil fuels),” said Christine Lins, Executive Secretary at the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). “They are the preference for many countries and more and more utilities and investors and that is a very positive signal.”
Last year saw at least $286 billion in renewable energy investments globally. China accounted for at least a third of that.
Mauritania, Uruguay, Honduras and Jamaica were the biggest green energy investors based on their ration of the investments compared with their economies.
“It clearly shows that the costs have come down so much that the emerging economies are now really focussing on renewable,” added Lins. “They are the ones with the biggest increases with energy demands, and the fact that we had this turning point really shows the business case, and that is really a remarkable development.”
Published by Green Jobs Online - 1st June 2016