Investment in renewable energy dips globally as prices fall

By Frank Jordans, Associated Press

Global investments in renewable energy fell by almost a quarter in 2016 amid a drop in prices and lower spending in some markets, according to a U.N.-backed report published Thursday.

In this Dec. 31, 2016 file photo the sun is rising in the morning sky above a landscape with a wind energy park near Jacobsdorf, Germany. U.N.-backed report says global investments in renewable energy fell by almost a quarter last year amid a drop in prices and lower spending in some markets. The United Nations Environment Program said Thursday, April 6, 2017 that overall investments reached $241.6 billion last year, down from $312.2 billion in 2015. (Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP,file)

BERLIN (AP) — Global investments in renewable energy fell by almost a quarter in 2016 amid a drop in prices and lower spending in some markets, according to a U.N.-backed report published Thursday.

Overall investments reached $241.6 billion last year, down from $312.2 billion in 2015, said the United Nations Environment Program.

But investors got more bang for their buck: renewable energy capacity grew increased by 138.5 gigawatts, 8 percent more than the 127.5 gigawatts added the year before.

That's because installing solar, wind and other systems for generating renewable energy became cheaper last year.

China invested $78.3 billion, about a third less than the previous year — the first drop in over a decade.

U.S. investment dipped by 10 percent, to $46.4 billion, as developers paced their projects to take advantage of tax credits. Japan's investment more than halved to $14.4 billion last year.

In Europe, spending on renewables increased slightly to $59.8 billion, driven by big wind power projects in Britain and Germany.

India saw the completion of a massive solar project in Tamil Nadu state in 2016. It will be the world's biggest until China finishes expanding the Longyangxia Dam photovoltaic complex later this year.

Many countries see renewable energy as an essential part of international efforts to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

Investment in power generated from fossil fuels was roughly half that of renewables last year, according to the report , which is based on data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The proportion of electricity coming from renewable sources, not including large hydropower plants, rose from 10.3 percent to 11.3 percent in 2016.

The European electricity industry association EURELECTRIC announced Tuesday its 3,500 members won't invest in new coal-fired power plants after 2020.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs