Report quantifies contribution of small hydro to global renewables investments

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According to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015 report, 2014 brought a rebound of green energy investments worldwide, surging 17% to $270.2 billion. This reversed the investment dip of the past two years. In addition, renewables (excluding large hydro) reached 100 GW of installations.

Highlights of the report include:

-- China saw the biggest renewable energy investments in 2014, a record $83.3 billion (up 39% from 2013). The U.S. was second at $38.3 billion (up 7%), and Japan was third at $35.7 billion (up 10%).

-- Investment in developing countries was $131.3 billion (up 36% from 2013), compared with #138.9 billion for developed economies (up 3%).

-- Wind, solar, biomass, waste-to-power, geothermal, small hydro (1 MW to 50 MW) and marine power contributed an estimated 9.1% of world electricity generation in 2014, compared with 8.4% in 2013.

-- The market in 2014 was dominated by record investments in solar and wind, which accounted for 92% of overall investment in renewable power and fuels.

Specifically, overall investment in small hydro slipped 17% to $4.5 billion.

The report does not cover hydro projects greater than 50 MW because this technology is at a very different stage of its roll-out than, for example, wind and solar. Large hydro is discussed briefly in a box at the end of Chapter 5.

Renewable energy technologies made up 48% of the net power capacity added worldwide in 2014.

The report is the ninth annually and was prepared by the Frankfurt School-United Nations Environment Program Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The 85-page report, available here, is a sister publication to the Renewables Global Status Report produced by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century REN21.

For more hydro market financial news, click here.

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