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2014 Renewable Energy Boom Driven by Solar Power

sun-powerSolar power drives renewable energy investment boom in 2014, Guardian, , 10 Jan 15  Global clean energy investment leapt 16% in 2014 led by solar power surge in US and China – but Europe lags behind Global investment in clean energy jumped 16% in 2014, boosted by fast-growing solar power in the US and China. Solar, whose costs have plummeted in recent years, attracted over half the total funding for the first time.

The green energy market has been gloomy in recent years and the rise in investment is the first since 2011. But despite strong growth in most regions, only a series of large offshore wind farms stopped Europe going into reverse, while the Australian government’s antipathy to renewables saw investment there tumble by 35%.

The new figures, from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), show $310bn (£205bn) was ploughed into green energy last year, just short of the record $317bn in 2011. However, as green energy gets ever cheaper, the money invested in 2014 bought almost double the clean electricity capacity than in 2011.

“The investment bounce back in 2014 exceeded our expectations,” said Michael Liebreich, chairman of BNEF’s advisory board. “Solar was the biggest single contributor, thanks to the huge improvements in its cost-competitiveness over the last five years.”…….

“The figures show that renewable energy is increasingly cost-competitive, with solar in particular rapidly approaching parity with fossil-fuel generation. They suggest also that investors are growing weary of increasingly volatile fossil fuel markets,” said Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

“Some developing countries have increased low-carbon investment hugely – a staggering 88% in the case of Brazil – and there is a danger that the UK, with its restrictive planning regulations for renewables, will find itself increasingly swimming against the global tide,” Black said.

“It’s encouraging to see the smart money in the world’s economic powerhouses is betting on clean energy,” said Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist. “The only disappointment is that, save for offshore wind, the UK and the EU are now lagging behind. For all the whinging about UK ‘going it alone’ on clean energy, it is increasingly clear that the bigger economic risk is being left behind as the low-carbon jobs go where political leaders show genuine commitment to a clean energy future.”


January 10, 2015 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable

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