Renewable energy investments reach $244bn globally in 2012

REN21 Frankfort School - UNEP reports renewable energy investments globally

Around $244 billion was invested in renewable energy in 2012, with a geographic shift toward developing countries, according to sister reports released by REN21, a global renewable energy policy network, and the Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance.

According to the reports, 115 GW of new renewable capacity was installed globally in 2012, although global investments fell 12 percent from 2011. The drop in investment was mainly because of dramatically lower solar prices and weakened U.S. and European markets, according to the report from the Frankfurt School.

Despite that, 2012 remains the second highest year in history for renewable energy investments, with a continuing upward trend in developing companies. The reports note that investments in developing countries were around $112 billion, compared to $132 billion in developed countries.

The reports noted that renewable energy made up about half the total electric capacity addition in the U.S. in 2012, with more capacity added from wind power than any other technology. Total investment in renewable energy was down 34 percent to $36 billion, however. The reports cite uncertainties over U.S. policy as the main reason for the decrease in total renewable investment.

The largest investment in renewable energy was made in China, where a 22 percent increase raised the total investment in 2012 to $67 billion, largely due to a jump in solar investment, according to the reports.

Wind power accounted for about 39 percent of the renewable energy capacity added in 2012, followed by hydropower and solar photovoltaic power, which each accounted for about 26 percent of new capacity.

To download the REN21 report, click here.

To download the Frankfort School - UNEP report, click here.

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