World investment in renewable energy reaches $286 billion
Worldwide investment in renewable energy has reached $286 billion, according to a new report.
The Renewables 2016 Global Status Report by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) found that last year was a record year for renewable installations, with around 147 gigawatts of growth in renewable power generation capacity.
The total investment would actually be higher if the report had accounted for the large hydropower sector and the movements made within heating and cooling, said REN21.
The findings also showed that developing countries overtook developed countries for the first time when it came to investments, with China involved in more than one third of the total global investment.
This growth has been enabled through a series of improvements within the sector, including more competitive renewable energy costs, particularly within wind and solar power. This also translated into more than 8 million more people now working in the renewable energy sector, thanks to 173 countries with renewable energy targets and 146 countries with support policies in place.
Growth was also enabled by better access to funds, more understanding about energy security and the increasing demand for modern energy services across emerging and developing economies.
Such a surge in renewable sources of energy happening at a time of record low prices for fossil fuels was especially significant, said Christine Lins, REN21’s executive secretary.
“For every dollar spent boosting renewables, nearly four dollars were spent to maintain our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Lins.
Despite all this, the report was cautious about jumping to the conclusion that the world has definitively moved away from fossil fuels, and stated that challenges still exist despite the generally positive figures.
There are still issues with bringing significant shares of renewables into the grid, regulatory barriers and fiscal barriers, as well as how best to address political instability when it comes to the sector, according to REN21 said. The policy network called the issue a “renewables train” that is still “running on 20th century infrastructure”.
Published by Green Jobs Online - 14th June 2016