The global trend shift towards renewable energy is currently reported to be picking up speed.
The United Nations Environment Programme has released with a new report that states that the worldwide investment in renewable has summed up to US$270.2 billion in 2014. This is a 17 per cent growth over the 2013 investments. The report said that the core drivers of growth in the renewable energy sector in 2014 were solar investments in China and Japan and large offshore wind outlays in Europe.
Almost US$131.3 billion, or nearly half the total investment, was in emerging economies. This also covers investments of more than US$1 billion apiece in Kenya, Turkey, and South Africa.
The report did not, however, include large hydropower projects while creating the total. The report was compiled by Frankfurt School-UNEP collaborating Centre along with Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Wind energy and solar energy had led the sector in 2014 and had respectively earned US$149.6 billion and US$99.5 billion in investments. A bit more than this was invested in 2011 – a total of US$278.8 billion – the report also says that this was caused by the capital costs required in the wind energy sector as well as solar photovoltaics. Their capital costs fell rapidly in the coming years, which is why each billion dollars that were invested in 2014 brought about a larger capacity than the previous years.
All in all, the report states that investments in renewable energies have been sharply increasing and investors are also getting larger returns from them. This is most pronounced in solar and wind, the two sectors that have left the other renewable far behind. They together received 92 per cent of the total investment in 2014.