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World invests $2.9b in renewable energy since 2004 – UNEP Report

The world has invested $2.9 trillion dollars in green energy sources since 2004, a new UN-backed report released on Thursday, April 5, 2018 said.

Erik Solheim
Head of the UN Environment, Erik Solheim

The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report, released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and its partners, showed a steady move away from fossil fuel-based power production to ‘green’ power sources.

The report said solar energy dominated global investment in new power generation like never before in 2017.

It added that 2017 was the eighth in a row in which global investment in renewables exceeded $200 billion dollars.

“In 2017, the world installed a record 98 gigawatts of new solar capacity, far more than the net additions of the rest – other renewables, fossil fuel and nuclear”, according to the report.

The report added that solar power also attracted far more investment than any other technology, at $160.8 billion, up 18 per cent.

A driving power behind last year’s surge in solar was China, where an unprecedented boom saw some 53 gigawatts added – more than half the global total – and $86.5 billion invested, up 58 per cent.

“The extraordinary surge in solar investment shows how the global energy map is changing and, more importantly, what the economic benefits are of such a shift.

“Investments in renewables bring more people into the economy, they deliver more jobs, better quality jobs and better paid jobs.

“Clean energy also means less pollution, which means healthier, happier development,” UNEP chief Erik Solheim, said.

It said 2017 was the eighth in a row in which global investment in renewables exceeded $200 billion– and since 2004, the world had invested $2.9 trillion in these green energy sources.

Overall, China was by far the world’s largest investing country in renewables, at a record $126.6 billion, up 31 per cent on 2016.

There were also sharp increases in investment in Australia, up 147 per cent to $8.5 billion; Mexico, up 810 per cent to six billion dollars; and Sweden, up 127 per cent to $3.7 billion.

By Prudence Arobani

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