UN-Backed Study on Renewables: Slumping Europe’s Investment in Green Energy

Written by | Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Renewable energy sources were the biggest contributor to capacity generation in 2015 when compared to all other technologies combined. Last year, the record high €361 billion was invested in renewables across the world, the 10th edition of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) annual report “Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment” concluded.

The study revealed that 134GW of renewable power was added last year, compared to 106 GW in 2014 and 87GW in 2013. Without the contribution of renewable sources, annual global CO2 emissions would have been higher by an estimated 1.5 gigatons last year. Moreover, the world’s global investment in renewable capacity stood at about $266 billion in 2015, which was more than twice the estimated $130 billion invested in gas and coal power stations.

The UN-published report, compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating for Climate Change & Sustainable Energy Finance, also stated that for the first time developing world’s investment in green energy (19-percent increase in 2015) was higher than that of advanced countries, which decreased by 8 percent. Among developed economies, Europe’s investment in renewables went down by 21 percent, from $62 billion in 2014 to $48.8 billion in 2015.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner commented that “renewables are becoming ever more central to our low-carbon lifestyles, and the record-setting investments in 2015 are further proof of this trend. Importantly, for the first time in 2015, renewables in investments were higher in developing countries than the developed ones. He added that “access to clean, modern energy is of enormous value for all societies, but especially so in regions where reliable energy can offer profound improvements in quality of life, economic development and environmental sustainability.” In his opinion continued and increased investment in renewables will be crucial for achieving international targets on climate change.

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